Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beat Your Winter Blues Blog Tour: Farewell

All things must come to an end. Joyful Jay is the gracious host of BYWBBT's last stop. Stop by and join your favorite authors reminiscing about the winter, and rejoicing at the arrival of spring.

Details of the tour can be found here, and remember, all comments left on posts give you a chance of winning the grand prize: a $200 USD gift certificate to the e-retailer of your choice!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Friendly Plug

My good friend, Jo Myles, has a release today. Jo and I are beta reading partners, and I've been intimately acquainted Handle With Care from the beginning--I even had an input in the title. Now I feel like a proud godparent.

Not everyone knows what a beta reader does. The term possibly originates from fanfiction, but the role is as old as writing itself. The beta is someone who reads your raw manuscript and gives you an honest opinion. All writers crave praise, but we all need someone to tell us when something doesn't work. Jo has beta-read all my stories. The first one was the hardest. I ended up doing massive rewrites, but the book became much better for it.

Being a beta for someone else offers you an insight into their creative process. Watching Handle With Care take shape was fun and educational. It's a great story.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hello Sailor!

This post has nothing to do with has nothing to do with handsome young man working shoulder-to-shoulder, out on the sea month after month, with only each other for company. Absolutely nothing. Yeah, I know, false advertising. They look nice though. Feel free to fantasize.

I'm done writing the vampire novella trilogy, but can't stop editing. It's weird--by this stage I usually hate the book and just want it off my hands. However, this time I'm still enjoying working on it. I don't know if it's a good or bad sign.

 In other news, Tomfoolery is now available on Amazon too for free. It's been hovering in the top 10-15 for the last couple of weeks, and has few good reviews. One of them complements the copyediting—it made me proud, as I went into pains to ensure a clean copy.  Typos, misspelling, and grammar mistakes can be seriously distracting.

Finally, Academic Pursuits made it to Amazon too. It took two months, and I'm not too thrilled about that.

On the other hand, Last Stop won't be out till early June, but it's already there. Waiting for a book release is like sitting on anthill and trying not to think about it. What I need to think about is the dreaded promo. At least I've sent copies out to reviewers, so I can tell myself I'm not slacking. Mrs. Condit already gave a positive review—it was a nice surprise.

 I'm completely stuck with my latest writing project, a sequel to Hanging Loose. I have story outline, list of players, even names of fictional places in the story. I even took a trip to Venice Beach for inspiration. All I have to show for it is sunburn. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BYWBBT Next to Last Stop

The host is Marie Sexton, and this week's theme is: "What I'll Miss About Winter. (Nothing, if you ask me.)

Details of the tour can be found here, and remember, all comments left on posts give you a chance of winning the grand prize: a $200 USD gift certificate to the e-retailer of your choice!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Marty and Harold

I collect old photographs—not so much the stuffy studio portraits, but snapshots. Some call it Vernacular Photography. There have been exhibits of it, and several books of found photographs have been published.

I pick them up at flea markets and paper fairs. They fascinate me because they are like single sentences taken out of a narrative.

Thanks to my kink, I sometimes slash the guys in the pictures. Some are more suggestive than the others. I have only one photo where I have no doubt they are a couple.

I had a strong feeling about this one when I picked it up, and all doubt disappeared when I read the note on the back:

Aren't they a handsome couple? Marty is a dapper gentleman, and Harold has a cute smile. Someone should write the rest of their story.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Who Doesn't Like Free Stuff?

Embrace The Rainbow is a new blog, celebrating its launch with a massive book giveaway. Two of my books—Academic Pursuits, and Hanging Loose—are among the many to be won. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Special Guest: Edmond Manning

My introduction to Edmond was reading the first chapters of his book in a critique group. I had no idea who the guy was, but his story captured me like a Venus Flytrap. King Perry is a unique, unusual story. It's romantic, but not a romance, it doesn't have a HEA or even a HFN, yet it'll make you happy and uplift you. Edmond calls it a modern fairy tail, and the description fits. Naturally, I became curious how this story came about. But let's let him talk:

Why did you write this Book?

Since my novel, King Perry, came out through Dreamspinner Press, I've been interviewed a few times and really enjoyed each experience. But until Lou, nobody has asked me the question:  why did you write this book?

It's a tough question for me to answer because while I've been writing fiction for a long time, nothing I wrote prior has burst out of my imagination so powerfully as King Perry. A voice from deep inside me said 'You must finish this. Explore this. Get it out there.' I needed to write this.


I wanted readers to experience their kingship or queenship. (I love the word queenship. We don't use it often enough.) I do believe that we are all amazing, gifted, unique. It's a notion that's hardly original:  Oprah has been spouting that message for decades as well as self-help and spiritual gurus. But what if it was more than "we are each unique?" What if each of us – every damn one of us – was essential to the success of the world? What if each of us possessed a power so magical, so overwhelming that every single one of us might be considered "the one true queen" or "the one true king?" Impossible, right?

Maybe not.

In the story, readers go on the exact same path as the main character, knowing as little as Perry does, being as bewildered as he is by the narrator's odd choices throughout the book. Why have breakfast at a homeless shelter? Why steal a baby duck? The readers get answers, but only when the controlling narrator is ready to answer them. And as Perry draws closer to his own kingship, readers draw closer to theirs. I've been delighted that several readers, after finishing, have emailed me their King and Queen names. I love it!

Why did I write this book? I think that our world is in trouble right now. To change that, each of us has to step up as the king or queen of our own lives, embrace that royalty in order to save our planet, to save ourselves. It's not too late. But it requires the power of a queen. The power of a king.


In a trendy San Francisco art gallery, out-of-towner Vin Vanbly witnesses an act of compassion that compels him to make investment banker Perry Mangin a mysterious offer: in exchange for a weekend of complete submission, Vin will restore Perry’s “kingship” and transform him into the man he was always meant to be.

Despite intense reservations, Perry agrees, setting in motion a chain of events that will test the limits of his body, seduce his senses, and fray his every nerve, (perhaps occasionally breaking the law) while Vin guides him toward his destiny as 'the one true king.' 
Even as Perry rediscovers old grief and new joys within himself, Vin and his shadowy motivations remain enigmas: who is this off-beat stranger guiding them from danger to hilarity to danger? To emerge triumphant, Perry must overcome the greatest challenge alone: embracing his devastating past. But can he succeed by Sunday's sunrise deadline? How can he possibly evolve from an ordinary man into King Perry?

Links to buy

There is now a chance to win a print copy of King Perry through Goodreads. Enter to win HERE.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beat Your Winter Blues Blog Tour: Favorite Winter Movie

This weeks BYWBBT is hosted by the fabulous Chris at Stumbling over Chaos.

Details of the tour can be found here, and remember, all comments left on posts give you a chance of winning the grand prize: a $200 USD gift certificate to the e-retailer of your choice!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Boystown 4: A Time For SecretsBoystown 4: A Time For Secrets by Marshall Thornton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As I said about previous Boystown books, this is not m/m but gay genre fiction, mystery to be exact.

Boystown 4 is a hard boiled detective novel set in Chicago in the early eighties. It's probably the grittiest of all the books--corrupt police, corrupt politicians, prejudices, murder, and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic come together in a volatile and often emotional mix.

It's not a light read, but it's gripping and rewarding. Marshall Thornton is superb at bring the location and the era alive--they're no mere backdrops to the story. For anyone who's been around in the eighties it should be like a trip down on memory lane.

Highly recommend it.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday Snippet

One of the underlying concepts of my vampire WIP is that when people are converted to undead they retain their original tastes personalities. They don't suddenly start brooding and wear velvet and puffy shirts.

Harvey, the nerdy vamp and his lover, Gabe, the reformed slayer, have a kink for role-playing games. It comes into focus most in the third novella, but there are hints of it in the second story, The Cheerful Corpse, as well.

"What's your sign, gorgeous, and don't say it's stop, because I don't think I can," a lewd voice whispered into Gabe's ear.

Gabe stifled a snort and looked sideways. Harvey leered back at him. That was new. Harvey the lusty seducer, and Gabe the prey. They were wrong for the roles, but what the heck. Gabe went along. "If you think you can take advantage of my inabbreviated…ineb…drunken state, mister, you're absolutely right."

Chuckling, Harvey fell straight out of character. "C'mon, you oaf. Time to go home." He nudged Gabe off the barstool.