Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Art of Teasing

A little while back, this beautiful specimen inspired me.

 photo 894504_457214727729073_1068415657_o_zps745cd28c.jpg

I wrote The Art of Teasing, a short m/m story available for free on Goodreads.

BTW, the photo is from the lovely and talented Dan Skinner, whose work you can find on Facebook and deviantART.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the food porn chronicles

Oh, Lee, you sexy, sexy beast.

Currently working on the sequel to See Right Through. Remember Lee, Sam and Devin's tall, athletic neighbor? No? Read the novella. It's free.

So, yeah. Working on the story now. Have finally figured out how most of it's going to happen, and I'm making a concerted effort to get it finished soonish. But there's an issue.

Bacon. Strawberry cream frosting. Peach eclairs. Chocolate ganache cupcakes. Chipotle chocolate crisps. In other words: Food porn.

In the (as of now, unnamed) sequel, Lee starts a new job at a bakery. It's a food porn romance. Just planning what my characters do at work makes me stop what I'm doing to search online for recipes and then I get lost updating my own recipe collection. Like this morning, I just thought, hm, for breakfast (for his love interest) Lee will be making bacon cinnamon rolls (or cinnamon roll pancakes with applewood smoked bacon on the side), fluffly scrambled eggs and strawberry-pomegranate tea.

This guy has to fall in love with him. I think I'm in love with him. And I realize writing this story is going to constantly make me hungry. Especially for sweets. How did I get myself into this? Now I'm wondering if I should include recipes in the book. Pictures. That would require lots and lots of testing. Help?!

Title suggestions (and recipes) are welcome.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rainbow Briefs - a gift

I don't often talk about why I write male/male romance. It's a bit of a convoluted subject for me. I suppose the best way I can explain it is to connect my journey as a writer with my discoveries about my sexuality. Looking back, I always assumed I would end up married to a man, have children with him and be happy with the existence I was taught was “normal” growing up. But I've always been attracted to women. Even as a little girl, though I dismissed it then as just acknowledging that other girls are “pretty.” As I got older, I realized there was more to my feelings with regards to some women. I'm not a fan of labels, but for those who are, they would consider me bisexual. I've never considered coming out, because as far as I am concerned, to my friends I am an open book and always have been.


Being able to talk about it is still something of an issue for me. When I spend time with members of the GLBT community in my hometown, I get the impression everyone either assumes I'm a lesbian or a hetero supporter of the community. I don't correct anyone's assumptions, because I often feel like I'm being nitpicky in emphasizing that I'm attracted to the person and not their parts. I suppose part of it is the stigma that comes with bisexuality. The urging to “pick a side” or the idea that I'm only claiming it because I'm at an experimental time in my life and I'll settle down with a man once I get it out of my system.

So, I don't talk about it. Not frequently, anyway. A few years ago, I started to get involved with my local GLBT community. First, I attended a Rally for Equality. The outpouring of love and community support I felt that day moved something inside me and I wanted more. Later that year, I volunteered for the Queer Power March. I think that experience cemented something for me. I had been so cut off from the people around me, from the sense of belonging I could have, without knowing it. In the years that have followed, I've volunteered for my local Pride organization and that sense of belonging and community has only grown stronger.

When I wrote and published my first gay romance novel, I still felt a little cut off from my community, though I was just becoming aware how much I was missing. I began talking to people online, spending more time with community members outside of big yearly events, getting to know how people were different from media portrayals of marches and rallies. I began to embrace individuals rather than ideas. I put what I've learned and what I love into my stories.

The last few years have been a revelation for me. Connecting with people in a way that I couldn't before, I have come to appreciate my community as a source of love and support. I have come to feel the way we rally to each other's sides – in spirit if not in person. When the It Gets Better Project began, I cried over each video, because that was the kind of outreach I wish I'd had when I was younger. I had the feeling it would be a valuable resource for years to come.

When Kaje Harper told me she had a group of Young Adult stories and was toying with the idea of putting them into book form under her other pen name, I was excited. I've been touched by her work so many times and I had the same sense I got from It Gets Better – that the full scope of what could be accomplished would be so much bigger than either of us imagined. So, I urged her to publish it. I found a collection of her stories in the Young Adult GLBT Books Group at Goodreads and formatted them into an ebook-ready doc, hoping she would take it seriously as something that would be rather than could be.

Then, I waited.

A few months later, she contacted me to tell me the book was a go. She'd rewritten several of the stories and added new ones to round out the collection. When Kaje emailed me the draft of the ebook, I sat down to read the stories and something came over me. I smiled. I laughed. I cried. And I got a good feeling. The feeling that people reading these stories would be touched, would feel loved, would know there was a bigger message, a greater purpose, a worldwide community that loved them, just because. As we worked on editing the stories and getting the book ready for publication, that sense we were doing something greater than merely putting out a collection of short stories grew until the book took its final shape.



Rainbow Briefs is finally ready.

It has felt like a long time coming. From April 14th, when I first suggested it, until November 2nd . It feels like a lifetime. I don't know if everyone will get what I get from reading these stories. I don't know if everyone will feel the love and support behind the words, the meaning behind the broader messages, but I hope someone does. If just one person feels more loved, more accepted, more hope for a brighter future, all of the work we put into the book will be worth it.

I find it difficult to put into words just how much this collection of stories means to me, but I hope you've gotten a sense of it today. I am so proud to have been a part of publishing Rainbow Briefs and I'm ecstatic that I get to share it with you. The best part of all? The ebook is free. Go to your local retailer – Amazon*, All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords, Goodreads, and others – and download the book. Share the links with your friends, your family, someone you know could use an uplifting message. Help us bring this gift to the community. And please, leave a review. Let the author know how much you appreciate her effort. I, for one, will not be able to thank her enough.





*A note. Because the book cannot be listed as free on Amazon, it will be 99 cents until enough people vote that it's available for free elsewhere. All author proceeds from the sales will be donated to The Trevor Project. There is also a paperback version of Rainbow Briefs available on Amazon and CreateSpace. The author will not be taking a commission from those sales.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

inspiration and one-handed reading

I know it's been a while, but I have some news. I have a new story! Short, sexy and to the point, but it's a new thingie from me and I'm excited about it.

A few months ago, I decided that one of the things I would do to make myself more excited about my own writing would be to be more active in my writing group. One of the members suggested a section of writing prompts. Some of the prompts are written, some are pictures like this one:




He's quite inspirational, isn't he? I'd add copyright info, but I have no idea where the pic came from, other than a friend on facebook. Anyway, he's pretty, but I didn't feel the urge to write even after I'd posted the picture and this prompt:

 I almost didn't believe it when he'd said yes. But he ended up back at my place for what turned out to be one of the greatest nights of my life. Now we're both up and I need a way to make the awkward morning after a little less painful. Does waking up have to end in a walk of shame? 

I looked at it again a few weeks later and got an idea. A dirty, sexy, fun idea. And wrote all of 33 words on it. Yeah, my muse wasn't feeling it that day. But the next day? I sat down and wrote something so hot my computer screen got all steamed up and I had to put the laptop on ice after I finished - the story, that is. A few passes through my betas and several cover changes and I present you with Morning.


If you blush easily, I recommend not reading this one at work. Morning is available from All Romance Ebooks, Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

still alive, etc.

I've been a bad, bad girl. I know, shocking right? I didn't mean to neglect my blog for nearly eight months (almost long enough to have a baby), but, life happens. I don't really have any excuses. Actually, that's not true. I have a long list of excuses, but nothing I want to type here. (Like Google screwing with the posting format on blogger. I swear, they buy every website I like and systematically take away everything I like about it. Hello, feedburner.)

So, what have I been up to? Writing, writing issues, work, therapy, being more active in my critique group, lurking on facebook, neglecting twitter, more work, sprained my ankle, moving, an epiphany or two, less writing, broke my ereader, wondering why I haven't updated my blog, chastising myself for not releasing any new stories in nearly a year, crying over ER bill, putting too much pressure on myself to write, trying to get back into the groove of writing, whining a little about my absent muse, a little (okay a lot) vodka and tequila, watching Supernatural, watching Bleach (loving the anime) and generally waffling about life.

Sounds fun, yes?

Anyway, I'm going to try to post again... hm, let's say before the end of the year. Can't guarantee I'll stick to it otherwise.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

friends and inspiration

I think as far back as my first attempt at novel writing (age 14, 1996 for those keeping track), I've always used my friends for inspiration for my characters and the situations in my books. That first book had some teen pregnancy, back stabbing, two week relationships, violence, kidnapping, secret videotaping, you know, because high school was boring that way. (Hey, at least 60 percent of that story was fiction.) Now, I've gotten a lot more subtle about writing people I know and things I've seen and heard into my stories. (Yes, I said I'm subtle. Don't let anyone tell you different.;-) )

The second book in my Savannah series is coming along well. It's a lot different than I expected it to be. Longer, for one thing. After I finished See Right Through in June, I thought the sequel would be done by August and I'd be well on my way to finishing the third story by now. Well, Derrick, one of my main characters, has a lot more to say to me than I'd anticipated. Apparently, he didn't feel my plans for a novella length story were doing him justice. Especially since he's quite slowly working his way towards the fun and sexy Lee, who featured prominently as one of Sam's friends in the first story. Let's see, See Right Through was a shade over 24,000 words. So far, the sequel is a little over 35,000 words and I think it'll reach 60-70,000 when it's done. It's been a while since I've written something that length (Hooked was 50,000 words), but I'm excited about the story I'm telling.

This story is different for me partly because I'm telling the people I've based the characters on that I'm writing about them. For some, their influence will be obvious to anyone who knows them, for others, the references are more subtle and something only they would notice. One of the people I'm using as inspiration for Lee is Cody.



Cute, right? I did create the basics of the character before I got to know Cody, but as I learn more about him, the more I realize he is quite like the way I'm developing Lee in the story. Now, he has nothing to worry about. I'm not actually planning to put his life story in my book. But he shares some great similarities with my character and I'm looking forward to drawing on that more. Plus (and here's the exciting part) if I'm lucky, Cody will agree to be on the cover for the sequel. Granted, I'm still trying to talk him into it, but I'm hoping he'll grant me the honor of agreeing once he sees the final picture.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

So, I have a kinky side

Yeah, kinky (mind) = me. I'm sure the people reading this who know me will be shocked to read that. Shocked, I tell you. And yet, I am the most boring person when it comes to adventurous pursuits. All my creative energy goes into my stories. Some of it is more adventurous than others. And goodness knows I've written some things I have no practical knowledge of (in spite of that the fact I've had three different people who don't know each other say I'd be a good dominatrix).

Right now I'm reading Whip Me, Beat Me, Make Me Write Hot Sex! in an attempt to get a more factual basis for things I've written about in the past and at least one book that's in the works in the Savannah series. The book is fairly straightforward so far, and I'm hoping it goes into more detail later. (Shut up. Yes, you. No laughing in the corner there.) I'm all about the educational books. Especially if they have pictures.