Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Writing status update

Since I've been mostly incommunicado for the past couple weeks, I figure I'm due for a status update on what's going on in my writing world.

First of all, I got my contract for The Hearts of Yesteryear, my m/m story about a 77 y/o actor who has to return to the hometown he hasn't visited in over fifty years. I don't have a due date for that yet, but it'll be out in either August or September. I'm in the throes of those edits right now.

I finished the revisions on an m/m/f paranormal erotic romance and have started the submission process. I had originally submitted it as a possibility for an anthology last fall, but that never panned out (I strayed too far from the theme, haha how not a surprise, lol), so I finally got around to adding the two chapters I'd wanted but couldn't because of the word restrictions. It's now a 21k novella instead of a short story, entitled Enthralled in Silver. I have high hopes for it. It's hot as hell and the first of a short series.

Once my edits are done, I'm going to finally finish a het WIP that's currently at 68k. I'd changed the title the last time I was working on it, but you know, I didn't write it down, and it's been a couple months and now I can't remember it. Hopefully I can find note of it somewhere.

Then, by July 1, I'll be starting my next m/m. It's working title is Sticking to the Seams, and it's set in an America far in the future that's been destroyed and is in the process of rebuilding. The main hero is a young train engineer who is on the search for his father. I'm rather excited about it, so July better get here fast.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog hop giveaway winner

Now that the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia is over, I'll get back to my regularly scheduled blogging. I didn't want to take away from the importance in bringing it to people's awareness by burying the post.

But there's one last thing I have to do before I can move on. I need to pick the winner from the giveaway! And that is...

Marie!

I have your email, so expect an email from me soon. :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and this year, I decided to take part in the Blog Hop that was started in 2012 as a way to spread awareness and to help unite our community. I had to. This issue runs near and dear to me, and has since I was nine years old.

See, my parents divorced when I was seven, and my mother moved all of us back to her home state, where the new male figure in my life was my uncle. He was my mother's younger brother, and I adored him for a whole spate of reasons. He was funny, creative, always had a smile for everyone, and best of all, he encouraged me to push my limits, to always try harder, and to never be afraid of taking a risk. I got to see him a lot since he lived with my grandmother and she babysat me and my siblings as my mother worked two jobs to support us.

Then, in 1978, my uncle came out. And my grandmother, a very religious, stubborn woman, kicked him out of the house, their business, and her life. She didn't speak to him for almost two years.

I didn't know the particulars right away. All I knew was that he had moved into town and all of a sudden, I didn't get to see him much anymore. It took some sneaking around to get the answers I wanted, and when I did, I was furious. His absence seemed completely unnecessary, her reaction unjustified. After all, he was her only son, and he was the same person he'd been before he'd come out. Unfortunately, as well as being angry, I was also completely impotent. I was a nine-year-old child living in my grandmother's house, and she ruled over the family with an iron fist. To go against her was impossible.

My uncle was too generous and kind to hold it against her, and eventually, my grandmother began to let him back into her life. He was never allowed to have his boyfriend around, though, and any mention of his personal life was strictly forbidden. To this day, my heart breaks for him. He was forced to deny a big part of who he was in order to have her approval.

That is just wrong.

Ignorance will prevail for as long as people refrain from speaking up against those who would spread their hatred and intolerance. It's up to us to teach our children that this kind of behavior is unacceptable, to understand that who we love does not define who we are, to know that every individual has the right to be whoever they wish.

Don't allow yourself to be held hostage by other people's hatred. Speak up.

GIVEAWAY: I am giving away an e-copy of my latest release, Aria of the Eclipse, to one random commenter. The winner will be announced on May 28th. Make sure you leave your address so I can contact you if you win!

For a complete list of all the participants, check out the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia blog!

Amber Allure April bestseller list

Yesterday, Amber Allure released the top 10 bestseller list for April, and my story from the music pax, Aria of the Eclipse, came in at #6!


1. Threadbare Gypsy Souls - T. A. Chase (Gay / Werewolf)
2. Needing Seth - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
3. Going Down - Cassandra Gold (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Three Little Words - Allison Cassatta (Gay / Contemporary)
5. Revving It Up - Sean Michael (Gay / Contemporary)
6. Aria Of The Eclipse - Vivien Dean (Gay / Futuristic)
7. The Beat - D. J. Manly (Gay / Contemporary)
8. Go Coastal - Heidi Champa (Gay / Contemporary)
9. Cherish - A. J. Llewellyn (Gay / Contemporary)
10. A Little Bit Of Country - Christiane France (Gay / Contemporary)

Congratulations to everyone!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waiting for the next installment...or not

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time sitting in a waiting room while my daughter got the upper half of her braces done. That meant reading, woo hoo! I was finally able to get caught up on Frank Tuttle's Markhat series, as well as a historical mystery called As the Crow Dies. The bad part, though?

Now I have to wait forever for the next Markhat book.

I'm not good at waiting with series. It's why I will often wait until something is completely done before starting it. I'd rather do that then have to wait on cliffhangers in between installments. I watched 24 like that, mainlining an entire season three days at a time. I did it with the second half of Harry Potter, too. I stopped reading after the fourth book, then waited until the seventh was done before sitting down and reading the last three all at once. Trust me. That one was next to impossible to remain unspoiled for, though I'm proud I managed it for probably 95% (and all of the good stuff, thank goodness).

Sometimes, it's hard, though. I don't like being spoiled, and in this day and age, it's very easy to happen when you're not paying attention. Twitter is the worst culprit for TV, especially since I live on the west coast. I've had to unfollow a few people because I couldn't trust that they'd be mum long enough for me to see something.

Am I just too paranoid? How do you handle series?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New cover art!

One of the emails I got to come back to was a wonderful one from Trace Zaber at Amber Quill Press. What was it? New cover art! Even more exciting is that it's the cover for Family Obligations, my collaboration with the amazing Rick Reed, and it couldn't be more perfect.

It's a short, but it's jam-packed with emotion, so much so that it still made me cry during the edits. It's scheduled to come out June 23, but as a taste for now, here's the blurb:

Tate D’Angelo always believed he knew who his father was. Beloved doctor, devoted husband and father, a kind soul…these were the words shared by everyone who came to his funeral. So when his father’s old college buddy, Randy, approaches him after the service, Tate expects to hear echoes of the same.

What he gets is almost a lifetime’s worth of letters that tell him so much more and cause him to view his father--and his family--in a whole new light.

The truth--about a secret love kept buried for decades--astonishes him. Overwhelmed by grief and confusion, he’s unsure if he can bear hearing how the lives of these two men entwined over the years, but he reads on anyway, discovering more to value, more to respect, and most importantly, more to love about the man who raised him.


Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm back...

I feel like I'm coming back from vacation, except without the actual vacation part happening. My non-writing life has been absolutely insane, with the addition of one of my best friends visiting for most of the past week. I took time off from watching what I eat, from exercising, from writing, from pretty much everything online.

Which boils down to the fact that in the past ten days, I've eaten too much, moved too little, written too few words, and missed a lot of what's been going on in the publishing world.

The eating too much wasn't really worth it, but the rest of it was. I got to laugh and spend quality with someone I don't see nearly enough. I had quality time with my kids, including getting some beautiful rosebushes for my garden for Mother's Day. I got to see Iron Man 3 (loved it so much) and did a ton of shopping.

But now it's back into the trenches. I have new cover art to show this week, as well as new reviews to share. I'll be editing/polishing my senior citizen m/m romance, then finishing up some revisions on a menage I want to submit. No more junk food, either. Healthy eating and exercise are back on the menu.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Morning headlines

I have no idea what I'm going to replace my Google Reader with when it goes defunct this summer. I've been lagging on doing the research on substitutes, mostly because I'm in denial that I'll have my favorite reader anymore. It's how I get the updates from hundreds of blogs every day, giving me the ability to organize it how I see fit, as well as being easy to read, customize, and navigate.

Sigh.

It's the first thing I look at every morning as I scan through the headlines that have accumulated over night. Today's goodies include...

Australia Offers Visa for Millionaires (Wall Street Journal): This has plot ideas all over the place in it. It doesn't even have to be romance. It could be a feature in a thriller, too.

Viagra Will Be Available to Buy Online (NPR): This one makes me laugh. I know it shouldn't. But Viagra has turned into such a punchline, how can it not?

Five Tips to Negotiate Better with Just About Anyone (Lifehacker): Articles like this one are the reason I love this site so much. Sometimes, their hacks/tips can be lame or too specialized to do more than a few people much good, but stories like this are fantastic resources.

I have no idea how I'm going to function without my Google Reader. Such a first world problem, right, lol?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guest-posting at Sandra Sookoo's

This week, Sandra Sookoo is hosting a few of us authors who didn't go to RT this year. Today is my day!

As well as talking about being a fangirl and my scant brushes with celebrity, I'll be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter. Head on over for a chance to win!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Remembering and loss

Yesterday, the media reported that actress Deanna Durbin died. She was 91.

It's a death that saddens me.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of Americans had no idea who Deanna Durbin was. Even though she was an extremely popular child actress in the 30s and 40s, her retirement from the industry in 1949 and subsequent silence took her enough out of the public eye to pretty much guarantee that the only people who would recognize her name were film lovers.

What makes me sad isn't just how she is sliding into a footnote of film history. It's the bigger picture, how so many people probably aren't even aware of her contribution, how easy it is to be forgotten even when you've imprinted your creations on the consciousness of so many. It's hitting me particularly hard since I'm writing about an aging actor right now, someone who's done everything he can to escape his past and yet can't forget it, someone who fought for his career and still is even after fifty years in the business.

It's inevitable, of course. Only the tiniest percentage of people become known on a wide scale for any length of time. We are remembered by those we touch, whether they be few or many.

Perhaps I'm all contemplative about this because of the loss I suffered last year, too.

I'm going to have a Deanna Durbin marathon this weekend. I hope my kids watch with me. I would love to think I've been able to help her be remembered. Even in a small way.