Friday, August 29, 2014

Sale today at Amber Allure

Today at Amber Allure, there's a one day sale on all sci-fi/futuristic titles. Everything is 50% off! This includes two of my titles, as well as titles by T.A. Chase, M.L. Rhodes, and Lynn Lorenz.

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Nothing has ever excited Tylen Merodine more than being invited by the Regent himself to celebrate the first solar eclipse in his planet’s recorded history. It’s the party of the millennium, and if he has to restrain his normal exuberant instincts to fit in, that’s what he’ll do to be a part of it. His good intentions vanish, however, the moment he’s presented to the Regent. Because there, in a gilded cage, playing music unlike anything Tylen’s ever heard, is the most beautiful alien he could imagine.

For more than twenty years, Dek has lived in captivity, performing at the whim of those who see him as an animal. The Regent is just the latest in a long line of owners, and while he’s kind, he’s still blind to Dek’s sentient nature. Only music gives Dek a voice, until Tylen breaks the rules and sneaks in to see and speak to him alone.

The time they have together is stolen and precious, the minutes ticking away until the eclipse is past and they have to go back to the way their lives were before. But when the Regent shows an unexpected interest in Tylen’s future, they begin to wonder if their worlds need to remain so separate...

Available today for only $3.00!

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Two men separated by chance must build their futures, without letting the past destroy them...

In the year 2184, the U.S. is divided. Half the country has moved on with the rest of the world, while in middle America, the survivors of the terrorist biological attack that split the country struggle just to stay alive. Though a century has passed, few people brave going behind the borders meant to contain the danger. Even the privatized military is reluctant to do so.

But that doesn’t stop recently discharged Sullivan Eberle. Only one thing drives him anymore—the need to find Raphael Hamada. He doesn’t know why; he only knows he must. If that means a lifetime behind the borders, then so be it.

Rafe Hamada ran away from the real world when he was still a kid. The last thing he wants is to be found, especially by a soldier who can’t even tell him why it was so important to locate him in the first place. He’d like nothing more than for Sullivan to leave, but turning his back on a man alone and friendless is against everything Rafe stands for...

Available today for only $3.50!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Reference Shelf - Gay by the Bay

Like a lot of authors, I have a huge reference section on my bookshelves. Sometimes, I buy books because they catch my eye at the store. Other times, I get one for a specific topic. The problem is, once I use it for whatever purpose I get it, it goes on the shelf and I often forget about it. I got reminded yesterday when I had to go look something up and saw a ton of books that I've loved that I haven't looked at in too long, so I've decided to start a weekly post about my reference library, picking a book a week to share.

This week, it's a book called Gay by the Bay.

This isn't really meant to be a reference book. It's more a coffee table style book, with a ton of great pictures and minimal text, about the history of the LGBT community in the Bay Area. As a transplant, I didn't have the good luck to learn about it through osmosis, so when I saw this, I knew it was a must have. It's one of the best buys I've ever made.

It starts out with a short section on LGBT history prior to WWII. This was my very first exposure to Jack Bee Garland, a trans man who found ways to exist as a man, and illustrates how I best use this book. I knew nothing about Garland, and because this means to just give a very brief overview on its topics, I had to go off in search of more information. That's the gold mine here. As the history unfolds through the pages, old posters and photographs spark my curiosity, and I find myself digging around online to seek out answers about some of the names I find.

Even better, it's pretty inclusive. It's not just about the white gay male experience. It mentions the Gay American Indians (the first gay American Indian liberation organization) and the Gay Latino Alliance, there's extensive coverage of the lesbian community, and like the Jack Bee snippets, trans identities are well represented. Because it came out in 1996, it doesn't encompass current identities or terminology, but that's not what this is about.

What I love best about this book, however, is that it's not just about the politics. Yes, there's a few pages on Harvey Milk, and a whole chapter entitled "The Plague Years" about living with AIDS, but the vast majority of the text is dedicated to the people and cultural signifiers. There are private photographs, public posters, book covers, art exhibits, and so much more to paint a rounder picture than the usual political agenda. Because life is more than a headline. It's about how they exist from day to day, what they took pleasure in, how they found meaning in their identity in a world that didn't want to acknowledge they existed.

I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday's Words

I've been re-reading a ton of e.e. cummings lately, so today's words aren't so much affirmations as it is sharing my absolute favorite piece of his.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Re-release - A Voice in the Dark by Jamie Craig

In 2009, Pepper and I wrote a story for a fireman call at Liquid Silver Books called A Voice in the Dark. It was released as part of an anthology, but earlier this year, they decided to re-edit/re-release all the fireman stories as individual stories.

Yesterday, it came out as a single title, and now you can buy it all on its own if you missed it the first time!

On one horrible morning, the existence Anthony Saunders knew disappeared with the crunch of twisted metal. The other driver lost his life. Anthony lost his sight. He almost lost more, but for a single voice. A voice that reached through the fear and confusion, and kept him calm while the Jaws of Life tore open his flipped car. A voice that followed Anthony during his long road to recovery as he learned to live with his disability.

Firefighter Dan Middleton's job is to save lives. He certainly doesn't expect to hear from the rescued victims after they leave his brief care. When a blind man he only vaguely remembers arrives at the fire station to express his gratitude, Dan is stunned. He's even more stunned to discover he genuinely likes Anthony. More than he's liked anybody in a long time.

Dan finds it difficult to balance his career with a real relationship, while Anthony is still trying to find a way to stand on his own two feet. They only need to have the courage to follow a voice in the dark.

Check it out now!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Judging from appearances

Over the weekend, a friend shared this article that I keep going back to. In it, the young woman decided to do a social experiment where she created a dating profile on OKCupid, then changed the photos daily to look like different female stereotypes. She kept the bio unchanged. The responses she got are frankly unsurprising.

People judge. It sucks. We draw conclusions based on what we see, and while they can be correct, they might not be, either. I've spent a lot of my life fighting against the stereotype I've been pegged as, most of the time unsuccessfully. Of course, that can work to my advantage, but it's frustrating to say the least. Sometimes, genre fiction relies on those appearances.

What it makes me work harder for, then, is to keep an open mind about people. Everybody has their own unique stories, and we shouldn't base our opinions on them without facts. Are some of these stereotypes valid? Absolutely. That's how they got to be stereotypes in the first place. But it's those types of conclusions that create such a dangerous environment in our world today. Our headlines are rife with them.

How can we make the world a better place if we continue to behave so blindly?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spray paint art

I saw this minute-long video on Facebook of this guy doing his spray paint art, and am still amazed at the end result. He's only posted it there so you have to click through, but it's worth it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Celebrating marriage

I'm in the process of planning and getting excited about renewing my wedding vows in October (15 years, woo hoo!), so it seems appropriate to share one of my favorite Twitter Q&As. It's from Valentine's Day 2010, when the Guinness Book of World Record holders for longest marriage, Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher married for 85 years, answered questions about marriage.

We should all be so lucky, right?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Over at Romance Cooks


I'm over at Romance Cooks today sharing my favorite summer recipe this year. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Outlander after two episodes

Two episodes in, and I'm hooked on Outlander. Am I in love? No, but there's serious like and I can see it deepening if it keeps taking the path it's going. It's a slow burn kind of show.

I liked the premiere but had reservations. First of all, Frank is boring and Tobias Menzies did nothing to change that for that. Half the episode was dedicated to him, since the audience needs to understand and believe in why Claire wants to get back to her own time (though why it's not enough to want to get away from all the narrow perspective on women, lack of modern amenities like medicines, and constant threat of war I never understood). Plus, she narrated too much. It got old. Fast. If that was going to be the way the whole series was going to go, I wasn't sure I could take it.

Thankfully, the second episode eased back on that, and since she's firmly back in time, there was much less of dull Frank. We get to start seeing the political machinations going on with everything and got a better introduction to Jamie, and it's off to strong start.

Highlights are plenty. First of all, it's gorgeous. Scotland is a stunning country, and this doesn't hold back on displaying it in all its glory. I've always said, as someone who loathes the cold, that Scotland is one of the very few places on this planet I would consider settling that doesn't really get warm. All those layers are necessary, both to protect from chills as well as the damp (I always loved that it never felt like rain, more like a constant mist). I'd watch this show for the scenery alone. There are moments when it feels like the camera dwells on the countryside a little too long, but that's necessary. Scotland is as much a character in this is as the people who populate it. Outside of Claire and Jamie's story, this is about Scotland's fights for freedom. Every second counts.

Then there's Catriona Balfe. This show was always going to win or lose based on the Claire casting. She is the anchor of the books, and her character can be very polarizing, as she can come across to some as smug, brittle, too modern, etc. I have plenty of friends who hate Claire but love Jamie and read for him alone. Others gave up entirely because they couldn't stand Claire's narrative voice. Balfe had a daunting task, but honestly, I think she's the best part of the show so far. While Claire still has some of that sharpness that's characteristic in the books, Balfe shows her intelligence, her fire, her caring heart, while at the same time making her likable.

The supporting cast hasn't had much chance to shine so far, though Graham McTavish as Dougal and Gary Lewis as Colum are pulling away from the pack. Mrs. Fitz is suitably adorable, and the girl who plays Geilis seems good, but they'll require more time for me to have a real opinion on.

But what about Jamie? After all, he's the romantic hero of the story. He didn't get very much screen time in the first episode, but that's because it's not about him. We got a lot more this second time around, glimpses into his protective, gallant nature - telling Claire she doesn't have to be scared as long as he's around, taking Laoghaire's punishment - as well as seeing the natural humor that draws people to him. It's easy to see how Claire could be drawn to him. He's a stubborn, good soul, and Sam Heughan is doing a very good job at showing that.

Plus, pretty. Oh so pretty. Which is just a bonus.

So I'm watching, and rewatching. And definitely enjoying.

Monday, August 18, 2014

New release - A Flight in Ice

Yesterday was a new release day! My short novella, A Flight in Ice, came out at Amber Allure as part of the Winter Games pax.

That means today, I talked about it over at the Pax Collection blog. It's all about themes of loss and going home again, plus there's a brand new excerpt for people to read. Check it out! As a bonus, anyone who comments over at the pax blog automatically gets entered to win the entire collection. Five m/m stories all centered on a winter theme. What have you got to lose?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Werewolves on sale!

Today over at Amber Quill, all werewolf stories are an extra 25% off, making them 50% in total. That includes my titles Boundless and Moon-Touched, as well as a couple Jamie Craig titles that I really love.

Go and treat yourself! There are a ton of great authors included in the sale. Something for everyone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First peek at Mad Max

As a Tom Hardy fangirl, I was geeked beyond belief when I saw the trailer of Mad Max that premiered at ComicCon. Plus Charlize being badass? How will I not love this?


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Voice in the Dark now available for pre-order

On one horrible morning, the existence Anthony Saunders knew disappeared with the crunch of twisted metal. The other driver lost his life. Anthony lost his sight. He almost lost more, but for a single voice. A voice that reached through the fear and confusion, and kept him calm while the Jaws of Life tore open his flipped car. A voice that followed Anthony during his long road to recovery as he learned to live with his disability.

Firefighter Dan Middleton's job is to save lives. He certainly doesn't expect to hear from the rescued victims after they leave his brief care. When a blind man he only vaguely remembers arrives at the fire station to express his gratitude, Dan is stunned. He's even more stunned to discover he genuinely likes Anthony. More than he's liked anybody in a long time.

Dan finds it difficult to balance his career with a real relationship, while Anthony is still trying to find a way to stand on his own two feet. They only need to have the courage to follow a voice in the dark.

In case you missed it when it first came out as part of the fireman anthologies a few years ago, the Jamie Craig title, "A Voice in the Dark," is being re-released as a solo title from Liquid Silver Books.

It'll be out on August 25, but if you want a deal, you can pre-order it at 20% off.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Flight in Ice over at the Amber Pax blog

Curious about my next release? There's a blurb and an excerpt of it over at the Amber Pax Collections blog today in anticipation of it coming out on Sunday.

Check it out!