Thursday, April 30, 2015

May Movies

My kids and husband have been looking forward to this weekend for months. Why? Because the new Avengers movie is coming out.

Me, I'm just excited because there will finally be movies in the theater I want to see again after a couple very lackluster months.

First up: obviously Avengers: Age of Ultron. That one goes without saying.

But the movie I'm actually most excited about seeing this month is Mad Max: Fury Road. Dystopian future. Tom Hardy. Charlize being badass. The newest trailer for it has me practically giddy.


Also coming out on that day is the other May release my daughter has been excited about: Pitch Perfect 2. She knows the first one backward and forward, she adores Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, and she has made me promise we'll go see it as soon as I get back from RT. I don't have a problem with that. I liked the first movie, too.

What movies are you looking forward to this month?


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Amber Quill sales

The sales that start today at Amber Quill are particularly great this week!

First off, all werewolf titles are 50% off through May 1st, regardless of whether it's gay, het, or non-romance.

Then, there are some fabulous authors that are also on sale this week, including Marie Sexton, KC Kendricks, and my very good friend Caitlyn Willows.

With this kind of sale, there is no way you can't find something fantastic to read this week at Amber Quill!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

RT in two weeks

I find it really hard to believe that in two weeks I'll be in Dallas for RT. Where has the year gone already?

I'm not doing promo this year because I missed out on the book signing and then forgot about Promo Alley, which means I can focus on panels and working rather than presentation. I have to admit, I'm really looking forward to the freedom. It's kind of liberating to know I can wander around on Saturday as a reader instead of an author, and that I'm not making constant trips to refill swag baskets.

Plus, anyone who knows me knows that I use RT as work time. I'm the one who slips away at the end of a panel to go back to my room to work. As far as I'm concerned, without kids to take my attention, this is free time, so I absolutely have to take advantage of it. It's such a relief to be able to throw myself into something without having to worry about how long before I have to leave for the school run, or stopping to fix dinner.

While I'm not a party person, I am attending two cocktail parties with fellow authors, and in the evenings, I'm likely to hang out in the lobby or bar to talk to friends. So if you're planning on being there, let me know so I have the chance to say hi. And don't be afraid to approach. I'm shy by nature, and I'm almost guaranteed to be the one sitting in the corner watching and not talking. That doesn't mean I don't want to, though, so please don't let it put you off. Break the ice, and it's much easier for me!

Monday, April 27, 2015

New Contract - Savage Estate

Remember how I was complaining about wanting more longer work out there? Well, I have a new contract from Amber Allure for a novel that hit 97k on submission, so I guess I have my wish. Edits on it are going to be tough. I know that already. How that will affect the length, I have no idea but my guess is it might even get to 100k.

Anyway, it's a paranormal m/m about magic and shapeshifters called Savage Estate. Here's the blurb:

For his twenty-fifth birthday, Alec Savage gets the gift of a lifetime—the chance to meet his father for the very first time. What he finds upon his arrival in Washington, DC, however, is not. A smashed window. An empty house. A scrawled note with his name and a phone number on it. Panicked, he dials the number and talks to an uncle he never knew he had, one who insists Alec is in danger if he stays in the house. That’s when everything starts to get weird.

Within minutes, he’s teleported all the way to nowhere Montana, in the company of the most gorgeous guy he’s ever seen, hearing about how he’s the latest mage in the Savage line. Alec doesn’t want to believe this Rowan Bouchard, but it’s hard to argue with the reality of his new snowbound location or the confirmation from the uncle who greets him. He even thinks staying on the estate while they hunt for his dad won’t be so bad if he’s got Rowan as eye candy.

Except Rowan is more than that. He’s a shifter, the most beautiful black panther Alec could imagine. And according to his Uncle Martin, he’s now Alec’s familiar, too…

More details to come as I get them!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sale at Amber Quill

There's a spring fling going on at Amber Quill! Through Saturday, April 25, all Amber Kisses, Novellas, and Novels are 50% off. Whatever author you want or genre you fancy, you are likely to get on sale if you act fast.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Over at the Pax blog

I'm over at the Amber Pax blog today, talking about what inspired me to write my recent release, Silences of Fallen Stars. Everyone who comments on any of the posts made this week over there is in the running to win all five stories in the pax, so head on over and check them all out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book of Mormon

This past weekend, my family and I went and saw The Book of Mormon in San Francisco. We've had the tickets for months. I bought them when they first came out for my husband's birthday which was last month. Since it's his favorite musical, it was a pretty safe bet he'd like his gift. He's been lucky enough to see it before--tickets have been hard to come by the past two times the show has come to the city--but this was the first time me and the kids would be seeing it too.

Absolutely fantastic.

We knew the music beforehand. We've had the soundtrack for several years, and gradually introduced the whole thing to the kids. The show is definitely not for small children, and there is at least one song that has so much swearing in it, I can think of a ton of people who'd take offense. We don't actually swear around our house except in extreme circumstances, but one of the lessons we've attempted to pass onto the kids is that generally speaking language, while powerful, is about the power you give it.

Getting to see it live was a completely different matter. It's even funnier, if that's possible, which was helped by some truly terrific performances. Elder Cunningham is the awkward, bumbling missionary, and while his role is designed to be the anchor of the comedy, AJ Holmes, the young man in this cast, exceeded all expectations. He's got a terrific voice, but his interpretation of the character is what really sold it. His Cunningham is eager and awkward, a cross between a young Jon Cryer and Vince Vieluf's character in the movie Rat Race (which seriously, if you haven't seen it, you must, it's so damn funny).

After the show, we spent way too much money on souvenirs. The kid got T-shirts, but because I already own way too many, I bought a water bottle that makes me giggle instead:

If you ever get the chance to see it and aren't offended by irreverent material, I highly recommend it.

Monday, April 20, 2015

New Release - Silences of Fallen Stars

Yesterday, the 1960s pax came out at Amber Allure. My story, Silences of Fallen Stars, was included in it.
When they graduated from high school in 1962, best friends and secret lovers Jim McCutcheon and Ronnie Mayer had high expectations for the rest of their lives. Six years later, both are back in the small Nebraska town they called home, and worse, no longer together.

Once the golden boy, Jim now works on his grandfather’s farm, ignoring the disappointed looks he gets from everyone who expected him to end up at NASA. Ronnie lives in his parents’ basement, recovering from the blast that sent him home from Vietnam. Neither one is where they want to be, but it takes a special request from Ronnie’s mom for Jim to swallow his pride and visit.

Though the trip doesn’t go well, it opens the door for the two young men to start communicating again. One question haunts them, though. Have they changed too much to find their way back to each other?

There's an excerpt at the publisher's site to read more. Also, since it's part of the pax, all the authors are blogging over at the Amber Pax blog this week about their stories. My post will be up on Wednesday, but any comments made during the week have a chance of winning all five books!

Friday, April 17, 2015

A Childhood Favorite - A Wrinkle in Time

One of my favorite books as a child was A Wrinkle in Time. I read it the first time when I was seven, and it quickly became a perennial favorite. I identified a lot with the awkward Meg, and the combination of family adventures, science, and philosophy called out to me in ways no other book ever did. I devoured the whole series. It was one of the first sets I bought in its entirety when I was an adult. It still holds a huge place in my heart.

Yesterday, an article appeared in the Wall Street Journal about pages that L'Engle's granddaughter uncovered that had been edited out prior to publication. The pages elaborate on more of L'Engle's personal beliefs that add a more nuanced perspective on what she meant to convey with Camazotz. They're fascinating to read. If you have even a passing interest in the book, I highly recommend checking it out.

Meanwhile, I'll be pulling out my copy of the book so I can reread it this weekend. I believe I'm overdue.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Cover Art - Wild Fragile Vines

Thanks to the cold that my daughter came down with over the weekend, I'm sicker than a dog right now. I spent half of yesterday with a fever of 100F, I woke up at 2:30 this morning and have yet to get back to sleep over six hours later, and I'm going in slow motion until the crash I'm sure is coming.

But there's been one bright spot already this morning. New cover art!

This is my contribution to the Second Time Around pax coming out at Amber Allure next month. It's an epistolary story, which is one of my favorite styles. It's been far too long since I've written one, so I was overdue.

Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

60s Week over at the Amber Pax Blog

My 60s m/m novella, Silences of Fallen Stars, is out this coming Sunday, and today, there's a taste of it over at the Amber Pax Blog.

Go check it out!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The State of Me and My Writing

I miss writing longer works. I really do. I'm trying to cut back some on my commitments to novellas, but it's not happening as fast as I'd like. I had sincerely hoped to only do a few this year, and somehow, that didn't end up happening. I've had two already, another this weekend, and at least three more before the end of summer.

I don't regret the stories I've been able to explore. But there are more, so many more, that I don't dare start because I know I won't be able to commit to developing them the way they deserve. Nobody wants that. The last thing I want is to disappoint the characters or the readers I hope will discover them.

So what do I do?

I'm hoping that chugging on as I am, gradually slowing down on other commitments, will get me to the place I want to be. I miss writing het. I'd love to do more menages. That requires time I don't have right now.

But I will. Eventually.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Drive-by Pretty

I'm too stressed out from all the stuff I have to get done today to think about anything witty or even remotely interesting to talk about. So instead, I'm just going to throw pretty men up here and get back to work. Nobody has a problem with pretty men, right?

Now if only I could go back to bed, too.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Weekend plans

I might hate the fact that we've had such serious drought conditions here in California, but when my roses are starting to bloom, it's hard to be sad about spring brightening our days. We're not too hot yet, either, which means this weekend will be spent getting my garden beds groomed and fully planted.

What plans do you have this weekend? Whatever they are, enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fun with analyzing TV

I suck at analyzing the TV I watch, in either humorous or smart ways, but I do loves me those people who do it with such panache. This morning, I'm pointing you in the direction of the three that churned my butter this week.

1. Outlander, episode 9 photo recap: Long but so hysterical.
2. Tom and Lorenzo's Mad Men recap of "Severance": These are my go to guys for Mad Men. They often notice things I missed. Plus, they do their fabulous...
3. Tom and Lorenzo's Mad Style: Severance: ...analysis of all the fashion and color theory behind the episodes. Seriously. If you don't read these guys, you really should.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Costuming on Outlander

I finally got around to watching the new episode of Outlander yesterday (being busy is the worst for getting stuff off the DVR, Mad Men is still taunting me but I want to watch it all in one sitting and finding 65 minutes of uninterrupted time is impossible right now). I deliberately didn't read the book before the show started, and it's been quite a few years since I read the first one, but honestly, I don't remember Claire being such a spitfire during the spanking scene. I mean, I knew she fought back. And the fact that the scene itself occurred is something that stands out from the hundreds of scenes I've read with Jamie and Claire over the course of the books. But this still felt more raw than I expected.

Not a bad thing at all. One of Claire's best qualities is her fearlessness and determination to stand up in a fight she's passionate about. Just... unexpected. I still really enjoyed the episode. Sam Heughan is really coming into his own as Jamie, and Catriona Balfe continues to be a marvel.


So color me excited to see an article on Outlander's costuming show up in my reader this morning. I follow a blog called Frock Flicks, which is all about period costumes in film. Today, she has a very long, very informative guest post on Outlander. I highly recommend it. There's some great facts in there, and she's a huge fan of Terry Dresbach, the show's costumer, in spite of some minor complaints. Every show can't be perfect, after all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Great review for A Soul Remembered

I hope everybody had a great weekend! It was a holiday for some, just the usual for others. Here, it was a long one, since one of my kids had a four-day weekend and the other got three days. We relaxed, ate chocolate, and played games without thought of responsibility or anything else. Just what I needed to recharge.

Then I logged on this morning to discover a pretty great review for my story, A Soul Remembered. What a treat!

Lana, over at The Novel Approach, gave it 5 stars and called it a "sci-fi gem," with so many more lovely things to say about it. To read the whole review, head over to their great site.

Ask any author, and we'll all agree. There's little else more satisfying than having a reader completely get what you were going for.

If you're curious to read more about the story or to purchase it, check it out at Amber Allure.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Avoiding the drama

Guess what? There's been drama on the Internet this week.

No news there, though it always surprises me that people are shocked when it happens. With the speed of communication, and the added bonus of so-called anonymity luring those who might not normally say or do things, there is always drama. In comments. In tweets. In blog posts. In announcements.

For the most part, I avoid drama at all costs. Why? Because my life has enough complications in it without going and looking for more that have nothing to do with me. I'm not talking about speaking up about genuine issues, like the fiasco in Indiana with their attempts to slide discrimination into law by masking it under lies that it's exactly like other laws already on the books in other parts of the country (newsflash: it's not). It's the little things like falling for trolls in comment sections who only want to rile people up that can suck away energy that is better served in other parts of my life.

People say things online they wouldn't say in real life. They think the Internet is a safe place. I wish I could grab them by the shoulders, shake them, and say, "Oh, hell to the no." Even when someplace is labeled "safe," it's not. It's online. It's archived. Identities can be created with minimal effort.

On top of that, intention can be completely misconstrued. The written word is absorbed through the filter of the reader, not the creator. Too often, as creators who try to keep as much control over their words as possible, this is easy to forget.

Don't.

My rule of thumb is, Don't put anything online I wouldn't say to an auditorium packed with strangers. I don't gossip or bitch unless I'm willing to have what I said get back to the wrong people. Which means, I usually curb my language, or don't comment, or click away from a post that unsettles me.

The only Internet drama I want in my life is that which makes a tangible difference to me and my family. The rest is superfluous. I'm going to treat it as such.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sale on Rick R. Reed titles at Amber Quill

One of my favorite m/m authors and people has a sale going on today at Amber Quill. All of Rick R. Reed's titles there are currently 50% off!

If you haven't read anything by Rick, I can't recommend him highly enough. His stories run the gamut of genres, but the characters are always unfailingly human and relatable. And if you have read Rick, then go see if there's a title you've missed. Really, this is a win/win for everyone.

Check it out!