Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Special Sale - 50% off at Amber Quill

Through November 4, all of my ebooks at Amber Quill are on a special sale - 50% off! That includes both m/m and het, as well as all the lengths and recent releases.

So if you've ever wanted to check something out, now's the time!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Broken Fitz

While I started watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last year with high hopes, I'm one of those that pretty much lost interest by halfway through the season. Most of the characters bored me, as did most of the storytelling. It was so bad, I still could never remember which one was Fitz and which one was Simmons by the time the season ended. Because my husband still watched it religiously, though, I caught occasional episodes of the second half of season one, and it meant I was watching when he saw the season two premiere.

I've watched it religiously every week since.

I still don't care for a lot of the characters. Sky bores me to tears, and I don't really care about Coulson's troubles. May is hit or miss, and Ward was infinitely more interesting as a bad guy.

BUT.

Then there's Fitz.
I have to admit, I didn't pay that much attention to the way season one ended. I knew he'd told Simmons he loved her, but nothing much beyond that. So when this season started, and he was so *broken*, my heart broke with him. I've been watching this season because of him pretty much, because Iain De Caestecker is doing an amazing job. I even broke one of my own rules about spoilers to watch a tiny snippet of a scene with him and Simmons from tonight's episode, because I was so desperate to get anything on him.

To say I'm shipping Fitz and Simmons now is an understatement. I have no idea what they're going to do with it, but man, I am definitely on this ride for the time being.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Still Time!

There is still time to donate for breast cancer research and receive the Shades of Pink II anthology as our thank you! Here's a taste of my story, "Pure Rose."

*_*_*

“So are we on for Friday?”

“I am.”

“Me, too.”

“I thought your office had that party on Friday night.”

Rose grimaced as Devilmaycare’s question distracted her from the fight on the screen, her thumbs flying over the controller to keep from dropping the gold she’d just won as the two-headed troll pulled a scythe out of nowhere and began hacking at her arms. “I told you, I’m not going.”

“Duck!”

“If I wasted that forget spell just to have you drop the gold—”

“You didn’t waste it!” Rose snapped. “I’ve got this!” Or she would, anyway, if everyone would just stop chirping in her ear so she could concentrate. These days, she only got two nights a week to get online and beat the crap out of things. It was supposed to be escapist and fun, not another bitch session for pointing out everything that was inadequate with Rose Meszaros. She would’ve been done with this battle already if it wasn’t for Devilmaycare distracting her. For that matter, why were they already discussing their next game date when the fight wasn’t even over yet?

At least they had the good sense to stay quiet while she switched out her pata for a battle axe. The ornamental sword was prettier and more precise, but right now she was more interested in as much immediate carnage as possible.

Cheers went up through the connection when one of the troll’s heads went flying. The second was off before the idiotic monster even had the chance to notice the first was gone.

“That’s how you do it,” Devilmaycare commented, noticeable admiration in his tone.

“Took her long enough,” Raygunnz sniped.

“I saved your damn gold, didn’t I?” Rose collapsed back onto her couch, the adrenaline seeping from her muscles now that the worst threat was gone. “Who let that troll through, anyway?”

“I think it was hiding in the armory,” LeanGen said. “So about Friday—”

“Why aren’t you going to the party?”

Rose sighed. This was the last thing she wanted to talk about, but Devilmaycare wouldn’t let it go until she gave him a reason to. “It’s Grease-themed.”

“So?”

“So? Costumes are required.”

“Dude, I’d love to go to a party like that,” LeanGen said. “Sandy was hot.”

Raygunnz snorted. “Rizzo was the hot one, idiot.”

“Rizzo was the easy one.”

“That doesn’t mean she wasn’t the hot one, too.”

“Just because Rizzo wasn’t afraid of taking what she wanted doesn’t mean she was easy,” Devilmaycare chimed in.

“It was in the fifties.”

“Why are we analyzing Grease characters instead of talking about Friday?” Rose said.

“Because you haven’t said what’s so bad about going to the party yet,” came Devilmaycare’s smooth response. “You love cosplay.”

“In the right environment.”

“What’s wrong about work?”

Before she could reply, distant shouts came through the online connection. “Hey, I gotta go,” LeanGen said. “My roommates are home. Someone send me a message about Friday, will you?”

He disappeared, as did his elf avatar on her TV screen.

“Looks like game over.” The cleric that Raygunnz played slipped his orb into his robe pocket. “Don’t forget to put the gold in the vault.”

With that, he was gone, too, leaving Rose alone with Devilmaycare.

Monday, October 20, 2014

New release - Placeless

Yesterday, the next story in the Bay Wolves Series came out. Placeless is the story of Keaton McGrath, one of the wolves that were rescued in Boundless, and how he struggles to find a home in San Francisco. It's part of the California Dreamin' pax, so if you head over to the Amber Pax blog this week, you can read how more about all five stories in the pax and have chances to win the collection for free!

Keaton McGrath had been a werewolf for only a few weeks when he was kidnapped and put into service for anyone willing to pay for his company. Now, a year later and rescued from that life, he’s trying to figure out how to be both human and wolf in a world that doesn’t want him. His only escapes are nightly runs, a chance to let loose the energy of the animal within, but when one of those runs ends with him finding a hurt girl in the park, he can’t control his wolf’s fury when he smells her attacker nearby.

Barely keeping himself from killing the man, Keaton calls 911, then leaves before he can get linked to the crime scene. His hopes to remain anonymous are dashed when Scotty Trumbauer, a local blogger and independent wolf activist, finds him out. Though Keaton’s warned that Scotty is bad news, the chemistry between them is too powerful to ignore, especially when Scotty leaps to defend him.

Keaton just wants to do the right thing without putting the people he cares about in danger. He has to learn, however, that a wolf is stronger when he’s not alone...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I'm Missing GRL

A lot of my friends are going to be in Illinois this week for GRL. Though I had a blast when I went in 2012, it wasn't in the cards for me this year. I couldn't justify a major trip this week because I'm traveling next week instead.

My husband and I are renewing our wedding vows.

We've been married for 15 years, together for 17. When he proposed, we did the research about what we would have to do since he's British and was working in the US on a visa. The hurdles we had to jump for getting married in the US were astounding compared to what it would take to do the same thing in the UK. It was the difference of months and thousands of dollars. Ultimately, we chose to get married in the UK, which meant spending one day in New York City as we went to the embassy in the morning and applied for a fiancee visa ($500), then came back in the afternoon to pick it up. One day. And I had to move to the UK for us to be married within six months of issuing of the visa. Such a hardship.

I did have family fly over to the UK for the ceremony, so that was good. Not that it was hard to convince them to come to England when half of them were Anglophiles. But we'd always talked about doing something on American soil some point down the line, so on our Florida vacation last year, out of the blue, we both mentioned it at the same time.

Fast forward a year later, and it's happening.

Next week, we're flying to Las Vegas with our two kids, while my mom and my niece are flying in from North Carolina to join us. Our closest friends are trying to join us as well, but that's still unsure as of today. Then, on Saturday afternoon, on the stage of the Penn & Teller theater, Penn Jillette will officiate as we renew our wedding vows. To say I'm excited is an understatement. We wanted memories and a story to share for years to come, and I think that's exactly what we're getting. It's going to be insanely simple, because the theater is union and we didn't want to infringe or make any demands that would complicate using it, but it'll also be one of a kind.

That's worth missing GRL for this year, don't you think?

Monday, October 13, 2014

New contract - A Soul Remembered

I have a new contract, woo hoo! Recently, I finished the first story in a new sci-fi/futuristic series. The story is called A Soul Remembered and will come out in December as part of the General Hospital pax at Amber Allure. Here's the blurb:

The Reborn project began out of the desperate need to keep a dying man alive. It turned into a century-long hunt for his soul.

Until everything changed a single fateful night in a Bayside alley.

Bleeding out from an unexpected attack, prostitute Adam Silver is convinced he’s going to die again without finding the man he’s been looking for since his very first death over a hundred years ago. He gets lucky. Rescue comes in the form of Dr. David Bogart and his friends who happen to be in the area, but it’s in the ambulance on the way to the hospital that Adam sees the birthmark he created to designate the reincarnation of his long lost love. For the first time in years, he feels hope. 

But it turns out, finding Bogart was the easy part. Staying alive as he fights to help the man the media has dubbed “Dr. Death” is a hell of a lot harder…

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cosplay and Shades of Pink

Just in case you didn't see it over at Kallysten's last week, I'm reposting my blog about cosplay here. I'll also be doing another giveaway. This is part of my efforts to bring attention to Shades of Pink, Vol. Two, the charity anthology I contributed to in an attempt to raise money for breast cancer research. If you haven't done so already, please consider donating. There is no dollar amount (though $5 is suggested). Just whatever you're comfortable with. The anthology is our thank you gift to you for helping to fight this insidious disease.

* * *

I grew up thinking Halloween was the best holiday ever. It was more than the candy. It was the costumes. My uncle always put them together for me and my siblings, and I have to tell you, we were the hit of our rural community. One year, I went as a nun, which amongst my primarily Polish Catholic neighbors, was fantastic. Another year, my ten-year-old brother dressed up as Mama from the show Mama’s Family. I don’t even remember what we were that year. Nobody saw us. They were too busy paying attention to how fabulous my brother looked.
When I moved away to college, however, I discovered something terrible. I had not inherited my uncle’s wonderful creativity when it came to costumes. I grew to dislike anywhere I had to dress up because I had no idea what to be or how to put together the pieces of anything that looked remotely good. I stopped wearing costumes of any sort, though I secretly coveted every single wonderful get-up I saw on other people.

Having kids of my own forced me back into the costume game. It was easy when they were tiny. There are a million adorable costumes for small children. But then a miraculous thing happened.

I realized my daughter had inherited my uncle’s gift.

She loves cosplay. She could put together the most random items and come up with an insanely creative idea. It started to come together in a more cohesive way three years ago when she turned eleven. She was in love with Dr. Who and decided she wanted a themed costume that year. I thought she’d pick Ten. She’d been in love with David Tennant from the moment she saw him.

Nope. She went for the more challenging costume. She built a TARDIS. Not a clothing version. A five-foot box that she painted and rigged out with lights and sound effects.
This year, she’s trying something new. She wants to be Dancing Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. Complete with music and flowerpot. We’ve been out shopping for the various material she’ll need for the upper half, but we’re still in design stage for the pot and music. She tackles each costume like an engineering project, which turns me into a proud mom every single time.

So to say that I have a soft spot for brilliant, scientifically-inclined girls who like cosplay is an understatement. I am not embarrassed at all that I took inspiration from my daughter when it came to my heroine in "Pure Rose". Rose is a computer software engineer who works for a digital audio company, games online in her free time, and has a closet full of costumes she built from scratch. Her costume as Frenchie from Grease might not be the technical challenge others might be, but she sure as hell went for realism as much as possible.

Because when it comes to cosplay, it’s the attention to detail that always wins. People notice. And sometimes, like for Rose, it can mean gaining something you never would’ve anticipated as a reward.

* * *

Now I want to hear what some of your favorite costumes were! Everyone who leaves a comment will go into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift certificate. On Monday, I’ll draw a name at random to win!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Return of Twin Peaks

Get used to the use of caps in this post. I'm a tad excited.

I was a HUGE fan of Twin Peaks when it first aired. HUGE. If there had been an online community and I'd known what fandoms were back then, I would've been all over it, writing fic, shipping characters, the works.


This show introduced me to what storytelling could be like. It helped shows like Northern Exposure to make quirky more mainstream. You'd be hard-pressed to find modern shows that weren't either influenced by it or owe it a debt for opening up the awareness of what television could actually do. 

Then there's the music. I have owned the Angelo Badalementi score for over twenty years. The Julee Cruise-voiced "Falling" remains the haunting echo that permeates the show. It's absolutely stunning and if you haven't heard it, I highly recommend it.

And who didn't fall in love with Dale Cooper? Or have a crush on Audrey Horne? 

And the musical theater lover in me still chortles with glee when she's reminded it had both Russ Tamblyn and Richard Beymer in it.

Is it 2016 yet?!?

Monday, October 6, 2014

4.5 Hearts for A Flight in Ice

There's something exhilarating to starting off a busy work week with a good review!

Lisa over at MM Good Book Reviews took the time to read and review my Winter Games pax story, A Flight in Ice. She gave it 4.5 hearts and called it "refreshing and very tempting."

Check it out!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Talking about cosplay at Kallysten's blog

Today, I'm over at Kallysten's blog, talking about cosplay and my story in the Shades of Pink, Vol. 2 charity anthology.

Everyone who leaves a comment is eligible for a $20 Amazon gift certificate, so head on over and check it out!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Breast Cancer Charity Anthology now available!

As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year, the first Shades of Pink event raised over $10.000 through more than 1300 donations.

For our second year, 22 authors have allied for 1 cause: fundraising for research. Their gift to everyone who makes a donation? A romance anthology (ebook) titled Shades of Pink (volume 2), totaling almost 150.000 words / about 400 pages as a PDF.

The suggested donation is $5. Funds are raised via Stayclassy.org and all proceeds go directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Readers can also donate to the charity organization of their choice (with a focus on breast cancer) and email their receipt to receive their copy of the anthology in either PDF, ePub or mobi (kindle).

Who: Catherine Bowman, Mitzi Calderone, Vivien Dean, JJ and TA Ellis, Sabrina Garie, Nina Day Gerard, T. Hammond, Susan Harris, Laura Hunsaker, Kallysten, Amara Lebel, Alicia J. Love, Deelylah Mullin, C. Deanne Rowe, Cynthia Sax, DJ Shaw, Alice Stark, Ashley Suzanne, Gill Taber, Natasza Waters, Zoe York, Angela Yseult

When: Now through November 15th.

What: 22 short stories, including…
·    4 paranormal, 1 sci-fi, 11 contemporary, 1 historical, 2 military, 3 BDSM, 2 YA (some stories have more than one genre)
·    3 spicy (ménage or kink), 7 sexy (explicit sex scenes), 12 sweet (no sex)
·    A couple of vampires, about three dozen humans including soldiers, geeks, teachers, librarians, writers, survivors, bosses, rock stars, teens, mages, wives, husbands and fiancés, 1 succubus, 1 genie, a few aliens, some werewolves and other shifters.
·    Pink, pink and more pink, including tattoos, plenty of flowers, precious stones, jewelry, a bookmark, a drawing, ropes, lingerie, a car, a bag, a vase, various clothes, an anteater and a squirrel.


Here you’ll find links to teasers for the stories, interviews of the authors and blog posts during all of October, a FAQ, and of course the link where you can donate and help this worthy cause.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Anniversary Sale!

Today marks the twelve-year anniversary of Amber Quill's launch, and to celebrate, they're having sales!

To start it all off, through October 3rd, all Amber Kisses, Novellas, and Novels (both "Regular" and "Extended" length) are 50% off. That's all imprints, all genres, all authors, so there is definitely something for everyone.

But wait, that's not all.

Throughout October, AQP will also be drawing at random the names of three newsletter subscribers each Sunday and giving each of them an AQP Gift Certificate worth $25.00 on our website. That's a total of twelve winners in October. Make sure you check the "New Releases" newsletter every Sunday throughout the month to see if your email address has been selected to win. If you're not already subscribed, just check out the right sidebar on the AQP site for details on how to get it.