Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Writing Update -- Manipulation (Diversion 4)

For those of you waiting for more Lucky and Bo, the day draws near. The fourth installment in the Diversion series is off to my betas. If you've been following the series, you'll know that each one-word title connects to a crucial element in the book: Diversion, Collusion,Corruption... Next up? Manipulation. You'll recall a bit of unfinished business in the last installment, and although I didn't leave cliffhangers, there were a few unresolved issues.

With the manuscript out for critique, I've been working on a blurb. All I have for now is the tag line:

Lucky Lucklighter has a new life. His old one wants him back.

I'll keep y'all posted on the blurb, cover, etcetera. I'm optimistically hoping for an August release, followed by a spring release of Redemption (Diversion 5).

The tentative remaining titles will be: Domestication, Devotion, and Ascension.

Hopefully, I'll have big new to share soon about the covers. Stay tuned...

Monday, May 26, 2014

How to Tell an Author's Cat

It's come to my attention that I may not be the best of pet moms since I spend so much time on my chaise lounge, typing away on my laptop. My older cat, Willow, climbs up there with me and snoozes. The younger kitty, however, seems to need more attention, and recently reminded me that I've become neglectful.

Yes, folks, Darlin' rolls on a sting until it's draped over her tail, then proceeds to spin and chase the string. I think I need to invest in one of those automatic laser pointer thingies. She spins again, again, and again.... until the string falls off. Then she starts over.

video 

At least she gets a good soundtrack: Black Veil Brides!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

What's Up with Diversion?

You may have noticed that Diversion is currently out of publication. Don't worry, the second edition is on the way, and the goal is a June republishing. What's taking so long, you ask?

First, I'd like to have the book ready to go and plan out a blog hop, for not only Diversion, but the entire series. Volume 4 in the series, Manipulation, will be releasing later this year, followed by volume 5, Redemption.

Secondly, I'm trying for the perfect cover image to represent the story. I've already secured the services of one of the greatest cover artists out there, but the model pics I provided didn't capture the true essence of Lucky Lucklighter, the main character. The model is a dear friend. We discussed the story more in depth, and Lucky's personality at length. My friend said, "I know just what to do!" Soon I hope to have new images and proceed with the cover.

Stay tuned for more information. And for those of you who've looked for Diversion in vain, I wholeheartedly apologize, and hope to have the book back out there soon. The story isn't changing drastically, I merely polished the wording with all I've learned as an author since I originally wrote the manuscript.

Oh! And while I'm posting news about the series, I'll share something I've been keeping to myself for fear of jinxing the projects: a publishing company in Japan contacted me wanting the rights to translate and publish Diversion in Japanese. I couldn't believe it! How did they find my book? And they thought it would be perfect for their readers! I researched the company and found out they are one of the oldest and best established in Japan. I was over the moon...

...and then...

A French company contacted me. Seems they liked Diversion, too, and want the whole series, including the future books! I'm stunned. I'm not one of the well-known writers in the genre, and this opportunity has blown me away. 

I've signed contracts with both publishers. I don't have a date yet for French publications, as they're waiting on my resolution to my cover issues, but the Japanese version is slated for January, 2015 release. The book will contain illustrations. I can't wait to see them!

Happy dance with me!

I'll leave you with the new blurb for Diversion:
 

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.




Sunday, May 11, 2014

Southern Charm in a Glass - A Guest Post by EM Lynley



Today I'd like to welcome EM Lynley to the blog, to talk a bit about that great Southern tradition, or two rather: horse racing, and fine spirits.



Mint Julep: Southern Charm in a Glass
The 140th Kentucky Derby was run last month at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Bluegrass country is horse country, and has been for a couple of centuries. The first Saturday in May is the traditional date for the Derby, and in Kentucky it’s usually already pretty darn hot.

 
Enter the mint julep, the quintessential Derby Day quaff. It’s a fairly simple drink, the American cousin of the more popular mojito. Just swap out the rum with some fine Kentucky bourbon and you’re good to go!
Mint juleps are traditionally served in small silver cups that were also used as prize trophies for sporting events. Eventually people decided to drink juleps even when not competing or watching. The first mention of juleps in the United States were as a prescription and the word “julep” is a sweet drink in which to take medicine. 

The crowd at Churchill Downs was about 160,000 in attendance, with approximately 140,000 mint juleps served. That’s almost one for each person, more if you consider the kids, designated drivers and people who don’t like bourbon.

I’ve never cared much for bourbon until I started working as a spirits buyer and got to taste some premium brands. My favorites are Woodford Reserve and Makers Mark. The quality of the julep is entirely dependent on the bourbon, and on using the cleanest water you can find (bottled or filtered water is best).
For big spenders at the Kentucky Derby, you can get a $1000 mint julep. It’s served in a gold cup, made from extra-fancy ingredients, and a big chunk of the money goes to charity. But you can make your own for far less.

Traditional Mint Julep
  • 8 to 10 mint leaves
  • 1 Sprig of mint for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar, more or less to taste
  • 1 1/2 ounces clean water (fresh Kentucky spring water, if available)
  • 3 ounces premium Bourbon
  • Crushed ice
1. Rinse the mint and don't dry it. The water helps flavor the cocktail.
2. Put the leaves in a 12 ounce cocktail glass and pour the sugar on top. Muddle them together with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon.
3. When the leaves and wet sugar begin to turn to paste, add water and bourbon, and stir with a fork until the sugar dissolves.
4. Top with crushed ice and garnish with the sprig of mint.

Now you can enjoy a Derby Day tradition any day of the year and bring some Southern charm to any event.
If you’re in the mood for reading about some fine racehorses, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Out of the Gate, my latest release from Dreamspinner Press. It’s the story of Wes Tremayne, an actor who falls for a sexy horse trainer one day at the races, and ends up owning a racehorse as the perfect excuse to meet the man. 

How far have you gone to meet someone? Leave a comment to be entered to win any book from my backlist (excludes Out of the Gate)


Out of the Gate
British actor Wesley Tremayne thinks he’s close to hitting the big time—a film career—with his role as a hunky explorer on a popular American TV show. Success should be just around the corner, as long as he keeps his sexual orientation a secret. Wes’s best friend and beard, Julia Compton, forms the other half of a glamorous Hollywood couple that’s merely a fa├žade.

Evan Taylor left his acting career behind five years ago without looking back. He's always been more comfortable around horses than people—especially Hollywood types. His new life training racehorses is a dream come true, but increasing financial problems and an abusive boyfriend have him doubting himself and his choices.

Then Wes and his friends buy a third-rate racehorse—partially for publicity—and send him to Evan’s stable. Wes’s friendship with Evan soon develops into an overpowering attraction he can’t act on. He's never met a man like Evan, but if there’s any chance for a future together, Wes must choose between a career he loves and the man he adores.

Buy now from Dreamspinner - Amazon - ARe - B&N – and other distributors

EM Lynley is a former investment analyst and White House economist. Now she writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. Her Precious Gems series is best described as “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone”—only gayer. The Delectable series is Gay Romance with Taste. Her books are available in print and e-book from Amazon & other book distributors.

Visit her online Website - Blog - Facebook - Twitter


 Thank you, EM for visiting us today.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Outlantacon 2014

It's been a nearly a week since I returned from Outlantacon, but the EDJ has been brutal so I'm late in posting. It's a small convention that's dear to my heart, mostly for all the great people I get to hang out with.

                             Dawn of the Dead (note the nice touch of scissors coming out of her chest)

                                                                         Zom-bee!

                                                                       Cosplayer

Outlantacon 2013 inspired the idea for Butt Ninjas From Hell , and it's there that we held a launch party.


The fabulous Moxie Magnus, Chief Cosmetology Officer of the USS Enterprise, enjoying a piece of Butt Ninjas cake at the launch party

 All my fellow Butt Ninja authors were there: Kage Alan, JP Barnaby, Ally Blue, T.C. Blue, Shae Connor, Jevocas Green, Kiernan Kelly, and yours truly. This was a fun project to work on with some amazing people, and as one reviewer mentioned, "All the authors brought their A-game." I found every story gripping and entertaining, and most were laugh out loud funny.

I met many other special people there, too: Patricia Logan, Jeff Adkins, Lee Martindale, William Cooper, Kiernan's stud, Monique Thompson, Kayelle Allen, and a lovely woman who loved Collusion. She was my reader for the Sock Puppet theater and now has a matched set of the Diversion series. Oh, and Kage Alan's famous Honorable Husband was there too!

                                                            Jeff Adkins--Zombified!

 And no Outlantacon would be complete without Naughty Bedtimes Stories: Sock Puppet Theater! From the mind of Kiernan Kelly,  this event has become my favorite feature of Outlantacon. Imagine thirty folks in various stages of inebriation (or just high on life) dressed in their PJs and watching racy sex scenes from Butt Ninjas From Hell being acted out with anatomically correct (more or less) sock puppets! And there's even a sound effects guy. A member of the audience is chosen to read, so some of them have never seen the words before. Hysterical.

Kage Alan filmed the segments. Here's my contribution, a reading from Hell is Where the Heart Is, from Butt Ninjas From Hell:

My human ninja Dillon has just arrived at demon Vik's cave, which is cleverly disguised as a New York City apartment.



 The other videos are on YouTube if you'd like to see them. Javocas Green's story was a scream!

We had such a good time with this project that two more are underway. The first is a collection of Christmas themed stories, entitled Butt Babes in Boyland. The second is scheduled for next year's Outlantacon, and it will be Butt Riders on the Range.

We had several tables in the dealer's room, and met some wonderful folks. JP Barnaby chatted with YA author James Crawford and, remembering that I'm working to create a library for our young people at my local PFLAG, bought me a copy of his two books: Caleo and Jack. I asked him to sign them, and when he found out my purpose, he donated two more! Kiernan Kelly presented me with one of her books. The books were a big hit at the meeting, y'all!


And no Outlantacon would be complete without me finding that one of kind item I just can't live without. This year it was a goblet, created by Kiernan Kelly, with someone already drinking from it: a lovely dragon.

                                                          The picture doesn't do justice.

If you love sci-fi, fantasy, cosplay, or just hanging out and having a good time, I hope you'll attend next years Outlantacon.

I'll see you there!


Friday, May 2, 2014

The Real Story Safe Sex Project

I lived through the eighties and nineties, and watched in horror as formerly healthy people grew ill and quickly succumbed to a new threat no one had ever heard of before. And there was no cure. We didn't know the cause. Many died.

This new nightmare illness was identified as a virus, contracted through the exchange of bodily fluids.

All these years later, there is still no cure, though medicines can help prolong life and fight this terror. These medicines are costly, must be taken faithfully, and may not work for everyone. Even with the meds, health can be compromised.

Sure, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But what if you're seventeen, in the closet, and have no informed adult to guide you? HIV may seem like ancient history, if you even know of it at all. Like so many others, I believed, "Everyone knows about HIV and safe sex!" Then I discovered how wrong I was, upon hearing heartbreaking tales of young people becoming infected without fully realizing the risks they took. In some cases, their partners were aware of their positive status and convinced them it was "Okay".

There is still a need for education and support of our young people. The Real Story Safe Sex Project features short stories by some of your favorite authors that are designed to entertain as well as enlighten. Some are serious, some are funny, but all impart the message of "protect yourself."

Rainbow Book Reviews' own Lena Gray interviewed The Real Story's mastermind, Brent Hartinger, on why he created this project. I'll provide the link here, and hope you'll read his profound words.

I handed out postcards for the project at my local PFLAG meeting, and will be handing out more this weekend at Outlantacon.

If you'd like to know more about this effort, download free stories, or if you'd like to contribute a work of your own, please visit Brent's site. It's not only stories we're after, but videos, articles and other forms of informative media. Especially eye-opening is Thoughts on Being HIV-Positive From a Pharmacist, by M/M romance author P.D. Singer.

So far we have story contributions by Brent Hartinger, Lambda Award winning author of Geography Club (now made into a movie!), Ally Blue, Zoe Lynne, Jeff Erno, Matthew Aaron Browning, Robin Reardon, Ty Nolan, RJ Seeley, and yours truly, Eden Winters. We have room for plenty more.