Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017!

Has another year gone by already? Wow! Where does the time go? It's been an eventful year. Writing-wise, there's been A Bear Walks Into a Bar (which won a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), and the re-release of The Angel of 13th Street.

Personally? I became engaged, and next week will stand before family and friends (in full Star Wars regalia!) and take the huge step of joining my life with another's. Yes, the romance writer found romance. Who'da thunk it?

On a professional note, The Angel of 13th Street II, Fallen Angel Second Edition is in formatting for release, and a third, never before seen side story is in edits: Broken Wing, featuring minor characters from Fallen Angel, with Noah and Jeremy providing backup.

Also, Diversion XI, Reunion, is in the critiquing and betaing process. I'd hoped to have it ready by January, but Lucky won't be rushed. (And what was I thinking, planning a wedding so close to Christmas?!"

Along the way in 2016 I've met some new friends, hung out with old friends, and have the distinct honor of having several people I've met through my writing join me in celebrating my wedding and starting a new chapter in my life.

So, goodbye, 2016, and welcome, 2017. Let's be kind to each other, okay?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

This time of year holds so many memories for me, both good and bittersweet, as I recall holidays past and those who live on in my mind.

If you've followed my blog for a while, you'll know that the song "Silent Night" has special meaning to me, and I'm especially fond of Lindsey Stirling's version.

In tribute to my sister, who sang this song with me so many times:

I wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday seasons, filled with love, family, friends, and great memories.


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Looking for a Holiday Read?

It's that time of year when I round up my holiday CDs, watch different versions of A Christmas Carol, and pick up some great holiday-themed reads. Due to the busy season, I'm particularly fond of short stories that I can read on work breaks.

The Match Before Christmas was written to be the kind of story I like to dive into at this time of year:

Candlelight, mistletoe, gaily wrapped packages beneath a trimmed tree, and someone to share it with. That's all Barry Richards wants for Christmas. Desperate for a traditional holiday, he creates a profile on "," in hopes of finding the perfect man in a matter of weeks. One date after another goes sour, while all around him friends are falling in love, and Barry starts to lose faith.

The first snow falls and the world fills with seasonal cheer, all except for Barry, for whom time is running out. Facing the prospect of a lonely holiday, he tries just once more to make The Match Before Christmas.


For more of Barry's dating adventures, check out Fanning the Flames, which picks up at Valentine's Day, and side character Otis searches for his happy ever after in A Lie I Can Live With, a Thanksgiving-based tale.

Fanning the Flames 

The man of Barry's dreams has gone from a sugarplum fantasy to sweet reality, thanks to the GLBT dating site Introducing a new boyfriend to the family and settling into coupledom aren't the easiest things in the world for a man with little dating experience, but the romantic demands of Valentine's Day are beyond Barry's imagination. His piteous cry for help brings all kinds of suggestions from family and friends. Fully believing he's found the perfect ways to charm his sweetheart, Barry isn't prepared to hear "Achoo " at every turn. Adam's allergic to what? And will sneezes and welts wreck Barry's painstaking plans for Fanning the Flames? 

A Lie I Can Live With 

A dating site profile faked up to make geeky gamer Otis Tucker more alluring hasn’t done much for his social life, so what does he have to lose by putting his real picture and honest interests online? His pal Barry swears there’s someone out there who will love Otis for himself, extra pounds and all. 

Handsome Garret Mims sends “I’d love to meet you!” but takes things so slow Otis is quite sure they’re stopped. Is it really a date if there’s not so much as a kiss between them? Maybe he shouldn’t worry about Garret’s intentions and just enjoy every platonic moment. Instead, Otis could work on finding the missing ingredient for his pumpkin pies before Thanksgiving. 

Garret’s up front in every way but one, and Otis may have found a lie he can live with. 

Why settle for one? Why not get all three?

Adventures in computer dating. 

What starts as Barry Richards’ desire for someone to share Christmas grows into an adventure in friendship and a little matchmaking of his own. Now the three-story set: The Match Before Christmas, Fanning the Flames, and A Lie I Can Live With have been combined into a single collection. 

Follow Barry and his friends as they navigate the tricky (and often bizarre) world of Internet dating, in their search for love. 

Contains the complete texts of The Match Before Christmas, Fanning the Flames, and A Lie I can Live With, which are also available separately. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday Sale at All Romance Ebooks!

A sale to be Thankful for! 25% off my Rocky Ridge Books and Dreamspinner Press titles at All Romance Ebooks, today only. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Big Gay Fiction Giveaway!

Everybody loves free books, right? And especially here at the holidays. Not only is this a chance to find some great books, it's also an opportunity to get acquainted with some amazing new-to-you authors.

Here's how it works. Go to the host Michael Jensen's hosting site and click on the cover for the book you want. Sign up for the author's newsletter to keep up with their latest news and claim your book. My own Diversion is being offered, so get on over there and fill up those, e-readers, folks.

There are good guys, bad guys, and then there’s Lucky.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter flaunts his past like a badge of honor. He speaks his mind, doesn’t play nice, and flirts with disaster while working off his sentence with the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. If he can keep out of trouble a while longer he’ll be a free man–after he trains his replacement.

Textbook-quoting, by the book Bo Schollenberger is everything Lucky isn’t. Lucky slurps coffee, Bo lives caffeine free. Lucky worships bacon, Bo eats tofu. Lucky trusts no one, Bo calls suspects by first name. Yet when the chips are down on their shared case of breaking up a drug diversion ring, they may have more in common than they believe.

Two men. Close quarters. Friction results in heat. But Lucky scoffs at partnerships, no matter how thrilling the roller-coaster. Bo has two months to break down Lucky’s defenses… and seconds are ticking by.

Come to think of it, I'm seeing a lot of books that are catching my eye too.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Review - Tyler Glenn's Excommunication

It's been way too long since I've done a Friday review. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long. But sometimes you read/hear/experience something that you are compelled to share. Only, unlike my usual reviews, this isn't about a book, but an album. An amazing album.

I must admit that I didn't know much about the band Neon Trees until reading an article about the lead singer, Tyler Glenn, how he came out as a proud gay man two years ago and continued to try and make his religion work.

And it didn't work with him.

The article broke my heart. Having been through a faith crisis, I found myself nodding along with the things he said. Whereas I wrote The Telling as my therapy during that troubled time, Mr. Glenn poured his soul into music, creating the album Excommunication as a solo project. A very personal, heart-rending solo project.

Anyone I've ever betaed for has heard those four cringe-worthy words that I use a lot when critiquing stories: Make. Me. Feel. It.

Tyler Glenn makes you feel the pain, the uncertainty, the feeling of being ripped raw and totally exposed. And then he offers a glimpse of hope.

I'm not really sure how many times I've listened to Excommunication, but I have it in my home, car, and at work. I'm very close to knowing every word of every song by heart, and I can belt them out, reliving and exorcising pain.

With most albums, there are songs I love, songs I like, and some I skip over. Not here. I'll play one, think, "This is my favorite," and think the same of the next. But the overriding theme is not just about losing faith, it's about discovering yourself, not hiding who you are, and staying true to yourself.

There are words in those lyrics that speak to, not only people of various stages of faith, but LGBTQ, and anyone who's ever felt marginalized.

The first song is Sudden Death, and the words capture the feeling of being questioned, of having others turn their backs.

Next up is G.D.M.M.L. Grls - God Didn't Make Me Like Girls, a coming out anthem, and one of my favorites on an album full of favorites.

Trash - If I could only capture this type  of raw emotion for a book. Laid bare, feeling betrayed by something you put so much of yourself into. There's also an awesome video for this one that has offended some in the faith community, but the feeling I get is someone trusting you enough, or has been pushed far enough, to tell you how they really feel. The agony of rejection. Raw, gritty, and with a driving beat like a human heart.

Gods + Monsters - This is a song I wish I'd had during my last horrible breakup. It says so much that I couldn't put into words at the time, and woulda gone well with the booze and cigar. (Long story).

Gates -  That moment when you decide "I'm gonna stop listening to everybody and just live my life and be happy" is well summed up in this work.

Shameless - What I said about "Gates", to the tenth power, and an awesome song to belt out wholeheartedly in the car on your way home after a crappy day at work.

Waiting Around - Been there.

One More - One of the more hopeful songs on the album, and a nice respite while you recover from the "cut and bleed" aspects of Trash and Shameless.

Black Light - That glass of wine you've waited for all day. Okay, I'll be honest, I'm more of a beer girl, but still.

John, Give 'Em Hell - I want to play this for all my fellow PFLAG folks and others who stand against social injustice. Keep doing what you do.

Devil - Yes! This! That feeling of being in church and cringing, fearing how some people would treat you if they knew your mind. Been there so many times. Very powerful lyrics about finding yourself in the aftermath.

I've watched interviews with the artist on how this work came to be, and the real life inspirations. I want to find this guy and hug him.

I'll leave you with the video for Shameless (that I've seen... okay, A LOT of times).

I bought my copy of Excommunication from Amazon: Nicely done, Mr. Glenn, and may you find peace, as I did. Highly recommended.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Duet is a Dreamspinner Weekend Read

Just in time for Halloween: Dreamspinner Press presents a spooky trio, bargain priced at .99 cents, including my novel Duet.

Get your copy of one of these three great novels.

 conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.