Saturday, June 13, 2020

My Greatest Accomplishment as a Writer

It's been over ten years since I published my first book, and my total number of full-length gay romance novels is 20. Plus, I've published a m/f/m and a young adult, both under different pen names. I've been blessed that my work has won Rainbow Awards, and one of my novels was a finalist in the Lambda awards.

Would you like to know what I believe is my greatest accomplishment as a writer? It's not a book I've written, or an award. As nice as those are, there's something far more important. It's people. 

1) I wouldn't tell this story if the person in question hasn't been open about it, but a few years ago someone read The Telling and wrote to tell me how much they loved it. It was their first gay romance. We exchanged emails and I discovered that he, like me, had been discouraged and told he could never write. I told him that if he was a writer, nothing could stop him. He disappeared for awhile and came back to ask, "Would you like to read my book?" He's now a very prolific and successful author in our genre. I get happy tears in my eyes just thinking of him. We've met in person and I finally got to meet this amazin writer face to face.

2) Well over a dozen years ago, I wrote fanfiction, and struck up a friendship with other people on the forum. Two in particular: one from the other side of the country, another from Canada. We spoke often through emails and messaging. Since then, they've both been guests in my home, and I've stayed with them. We went from online friends, to friends who hang out whenever possible. It's rare that we don't message each other at least once per day. 

3) I've met an author from China who wound up living thirty minutes from me, and we became good friends and crit partners. 

4) Two other authors and I had weekend getaways. They've also visited me in my home. I cherish those memories. During our weekends together we wrote down anything said that could be considered even slightly dirty. At the end of the weekend, we'd choose a phrase that we'd all include in our next book. Now you know where the Bo and Lucky line, "Pop my cork, big boy," came from. 

5) Three of the authors mentioned above attended my wedding. A fourth couldn't make it due to bad whether. 

6) I've bought muscadines for a writer friend from Germany when we met in Atlanta, and got to hug her in real life instead of just signing my emails, "Hugs, Eden."

7) I've received cards, gifts, and a chocolate care package from people I've met through my writing. 

8) A reader wrote to me saying she had bought my book not knowing it was gay romance, and was shocked at first, but then read on because she'd become engaged with the characters. She said it opened her eyes to issues faced by the GLBTQIA community. 

9) I've heard from veterans who served in the military back when they feared someone finding out their sexuality. One man narrowly escaped expulsion from the Army. I encouraged them to write their stories, and I certainly hope they did. 

I have a friend that I love dearly, who often shared stories about the hardships of being gay. Once day he said, "You'll never understand my world." His words hurt me, because I love him and genuinely wanted to understand. So I set out to educate myself. 

I read, I studied, and fell in love with the gay romance genre. The Telling was my first novel, a therapy book in which I worked out issues in my life and dealt with the topics of what I was raised to believe, and what I now knew to be right. It is that book that set all the above into motion. 

I dedicated the book to my friend. He now happily tells people of my writing and the part he played. 

My self-education led me to PFLAG, where I served on the council of the local chapter, and was elected Vice President. I've handed out PRIDE Guides at parades and otherwise donated time to a cause I'm passionate about. 

And you can better believe I'm dressed in purple on Spirit Day, and will happily explain to others the significance. I've also found so many good causes to support: The Trevor Project, PFLAG, youth shelters...

So, my greatest accomplish as a writer is how much I've grown, the priviledge of, even if in a small way, making a difference. And the people I've come to know and love. 

Awards and good reveiws are amazing. 

Love and understanding is better. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Drifter, Now Available for Preorder

So many folks who read Highway Man said they wanted more, and wanted to hear from Mike's POV.  I listened. And I wrote. At long last, Drifter is up for preorder at Amazon, releasing July 7. Check out the gorgeous cover by Cate Ashwood Designs!


Some legends never die.

Killian Desmond met his end in the fiery crash that killed his band, or so the newspapers say. Now a nameless drifter, he plays one pick-up gig after another in a haze of pain and regret, moving on the minute someone says, “You sound like that guy from Trickster.”

Getting outed cost Mike Rose his musical family. A bassist without a band, he’ll play any kind of music to earn a paycheck, but Trickster’s music provides light during the darkest moments of his life.

A chance meeting brings together two lost souls who spark enough heat to set their guitars on fire. Their chemistry, both onstage and off, feels like something written in the words of a song and gives them courage to face life again.

But to seize their future, they have to confront their past.

Every damned, ugly inch of it.

Preorder your copy today at Amazon

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Drifter Excerpt

My upcoming rocker novel, Drifter, contains several originals songs that I either wrote for the book, or that were languishing on my hard drive.

Here is You've Got You.


You don’t need me
You don’t need anyone
You’ve got you
You’ve got you

Lovers come and lovers go,
Taking all that they can get
Leave you bruised and leave you bleeding
’Til you wish you’d never met

They sink their claws into your ego
leave you empty, full of doubt
With deceitfulness and brutal lies
They twist and turn you inside out

You don’t need me
You don’t need anyone
You’ve got you
You’ve got you

Better keep yourself around you
Better to walk this world alone
Than know ecstasy of one moment
The next spent cut right to the bone

They promise much, and give so little
Take, take, take, is all they do
Then leave you standing there with nothing
You don’t need them, you’ve got you.

Walk away, don’t look back,
You won’t need them, never do,
Head held high and eyes wide open,
You need no one, you’ve got you

Look for Drifter to release from Rocky Ridge Books on July 7. I'll post more as the day grows closer. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

New Book, Coming Soon!

I'm happy to announce that, at long last, I have a release date for Drifter, the rocker novel based on novella Highway Man. Folks asked for more, now they'll get it.

Some legends never die.
Killian Desmond met his end in the fiery crash that killed his band, or so the newspapers say. Now a nameless drifter, he plays one pick-up gig after another in a haze of pain and regret, moving on the minute someone says, “You sound like that guy from Trickster.”
Getting outed cost Mike Rose his musical family. A bassist without a band, he’ll play any kind of music to earn a paycheck, but Trickster’s music provides light during the darkest moments of his life.
A chance meeting brings together two lost souls who spark enough heat to set their guitars on fire. Their chemistry, both onstage and off, feels like something written in the words of a song and gives them courage to face life again.
But to seize their future, they have to confront their past.
Every damned, ugly inch of it.

Stay tuned for more information! 

Friday, May 8, 2020

Ready to lose yourself in action, adventure, and romance?

In the recent past I ran a promotion for Diversion Box Set Vol 1, featuring the first three books in the Diversion series: Diversion, Collusion, and Corruption. Many of you took advantage of this deal and asked the question, "Will you run a sale on Vol 2?" This author is all about keeping fans happy and entertained, so the answer is a hearty "Yes!" 

For a limited time, get your copy of Diversion Box Set Vol 2, featuring Manipulation, Redemption, and Reunion for $1.99. That's right. Normally this volume is $8.99, a huge savings, and a great way to lose yourself in the world of Bo, Lucky, and the Southestern Narcotics Bureau. 


Manipulation

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

Now Bo is missing, and a voice long silenced asks, “Did you miss me?” To get Bo back, Lucky must deal with a devil from his past.


Redemption

The last thing Lucky needs is a phone call from a dangerous man who knows too much, summoning him and Bo back to Mexico for “an early Christmas present.”

Not when the SNB brass asks tough questions, like “How well do you know your partner?”


Reunion

Reunions can be murder.

Family's always been a sticky point for Bo and Lucky--no cards, no holidays, and definitely no introducing partner to family.

Now his father needs a gift only Lucky can give. And Lucky’s family has something that may destroy all he believes:

The truth.


Get yours now at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Apple Books
Kobo

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Duet, Back Out in the World!

I'm happy to announce that Duet has been launched back out into the world at long last. My contract with the publisher ended, and now Rocky Ridge Books has released it.

Part historical, part paranormal, part contempory, Duet tells the story of a love that stands the test of time.



A heartbroken Highlander, a Druid’s whispered spell, the promise of a future.

A conqueror’s decree couldn’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish pride. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid as a badge of honor, living for the day he can restore his family name and overthrow English tyranny.

Fleeing England and persecution, violinist Malcolm Byerly accepts a post in the Highlands as tutor for the sons of Laird Callaghan. He never expects the kilt-wearing force of nature, the Laird’s eldest son, Aillil, or the man’s bitter hatred of all things English, including Malcolm. He doesn’t expect their shared love of music to overcome the barriers between them. Or for their love to be short-lived.

Distraught and alone, Aillil grasps for a second chance at love, and vanishes into Highland legend to await the rebirth of his lover.

Concert violinist Billy Byerly’s arrival at Callaghan Castle feels like coming home, and the gift of an antique violin awakens memories of another time and place. Billy doesn't believe in ghosts, but a dark-haired Highlander haunts his dreams and the antique violin releases tunes he doesn’t remember learning.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.

Available now at Amazon and on KU

Also available at Audible

Friday, April 24, 2020

Suspicion (Diversion 7) Now on Audio!

I'm very happy to report that Suspicion (Diversion 7) has now released at Audible, and I think narrator Darcy Stark did an incredible job of bringing Bo and Lucky to life.

We also included Relation (Diversion 7.1) and Tradition (Diversion 7.2). There are several reasons for that. First, sometimes in a series readers only pick up the novels, not the short stories, and these two are important to the plot. Secondly, yes, I might have brought in more revenue by selling them separately, but it didn't sit right with me for reasons I might post about one day. Thirdly, I love my readers (listeners) and wanted to give you a little something extra.

So, pick up your copy of Suspicion today in audio, along with the bonus material. Too bad it was too late to include them in the ebook too. I mean, who wouldn't want more of Bo's backstory and to meet his family? Or peek in on Bo and Lucky's first true Christmas together?



2018-2019 Rainbow Awards: Best Gay Romantic Suspence

Lucky “Simon Harrison” Lucklighter left behind his criminal past to become one of the best agents in the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau. He’s found a committed partner in fellow agent Bo Schollenberger and built a life.

Now, enemies within the SNB and a friend’s betrayal leave him nowhere to turn—not even to his mentor.

His boss’s life, the future of the SNB, and Lucky’s career depend on him. With the help of his lover, an old enemy turned ally, and a man Lucky thought he’d seen the last of, he must stand and fight for what he believes in.

Even if he has to step outside the law.



Expecting to die while trapped in a Mexican drug tunnel can make a man rethink his life choices.

Bo and Lucky have a home, steady, if dangerous, work, and each other. Maybe even the beginnings of the reconciliation with the Lucklighter clan they promised themselves. The Schollenburgers, though—Bo hasn’t yet opened up that can of worms, near-death experiences or no.

Yet another Thanksgiving approaches with no plans to celebrate with family. Lucky’s willing to wait as long as Bo needs to get up his gumption.

He’s not nearly so patient with the bikers stalking him.



Lucky has dreamed of an old-fashioned Christmas with Bo for years. Unfortunately, something always got in the way. This year is looking unusually promising, though, if they can keep well-intentioned family and work from spoiling the magic of the season. Their first Christmas together will set the bar for years to come, which means blending their favorite traditions and taking the best of both.

Last minute shopping? Bo’s list. Holiday junk food? Lucky’s. Nostalgic Christmas songs? Bo’s. Hiding to avoid the dreaded office Christmas party? Not Bo’s. And while Lucky is up for compromise, he’s got something extra special planned for his partner, something a little bit naughty and whole lot nice.

Get all three at Audible