Sunday, June 30, 2013

True Romance

(intentionally cheesy image)

"Great romance" is full of larger than life elements. You love each other at firs sight but you can't be together. You hate each other at first sight but are forced to be together. Your separated by an impossible socio-economic gulf.  Your love is kidnapped by pirates. You have amnesia, being blackmailed, and the object of your affection doesn't know you exist. Your love is forbidden yet it is unstoppable. 


Fittingly, on classic romance covers the heroes and heroines with perfect skin, heaving bosoms, and lustrous hair strike dramatic poses in front of dramatic backgrounds. Contemporary, photographic covers are not quite as theatrical but the idea is the same.


Okay, I admit, these over the top stories can be a lot of fun. There's nothing wrong with enjoying them. I have one little problem though: I can't imagine those couples beyond the wedding bells.


Ordinary life doesn't fit them. Domesticity seems so unromantic—no grand gestures, moon-lit beaches, and raging seas. I doubt those couples would last long.


I happen to think that real romance lives in the small things. To me the most romantic scene I've ever seen is in Fargo: Margie, the pregnant police chief gets a call at dawn. She has to get up to go to the crime scene, and her husband insists on getting up too to make her breakfast, even though he's barely conscious. Now, that's true love. The movie ends with them—two ordinary people—in bed, talking about duck stamps.

It was only recently, reading Cole Riann's review of Hanging Loose that I drew a connection between my fondness of the above-mentioned scene and the type of romance I tend to write. I'm not capable of composing stories with grand gestures and grand emotions. It's just not in me, but I take pleasure in exploring love in the details. And that's pretty much it.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Help! I've Fallen and I Can't Shut Up

I've given numerous interviews in the last few days. And while there are overlaps, each has something unique to it. With Cole Riann from Armchair Reader I discussed cats (and dogs). At Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews I opined on the difference between witches and warlocks. The contentious subject of headless torsos on book covers came up on the GRNW Goodreads group.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday Word: Tootles vs Toodles

tootle |ˈtoōtl|verb[ intrans. casually make a series of sounds on a horn, trumpet, or similar instrument he tootled on the horn.• [ trans. play (an instrument) or make (a sound or tune) in such a way the video games tootled their tunes.[ intrans. informal go or travel in a leisurely way they were tootling along the coast.noun [usu. in sing. ]an act or sound of casual playing on an instrument such as a horn or trumpet.informal a leisurely journey.ORIGIN early 19th cent.frequentative of toot .
toodle-oo |ˌtoōdl ˈoō|exclamation informal datedgoodbye we'll see you later, toodle-oo!ORIGIN early 20th cent.: perhaps an alteration ofFrench à tout à l'heure ‘see you soon.’

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Release Day Ramblings

Dead Man and the Restless Spirits is officially out today, although I had a soft release yesterday. (I needed buy link for reviews so I sneaked it out.) The print version should be available for purchase in a couple of days, for those weirdos who like their books on paper. I kid. I like physical books and keep bringing them home, but I'm swiftly running out of room for them. Just the other day I had to dash to IKEA for new shelves.

There have already been a handful of reviews, mostly good, but even the ones with lower ratings had good things to say. An author responding to reviews is a minefield—some reviewers like it, others don't, and it tends to come across as chest beating. So I try not to do it, but I do appreciate the time and thought reviewers invest in their articles. They're for readers and not the author, but they often give me food for thought.

One review for Dead Man brought up Jordan Calstillo Price's Psycop series. It was bound to happen. When you write about vampires it's given that your mythology will be similar to somebody else's. However, protagonists who commune with the dead are less common. The Psycop series was among the firs m/m books I read, and a major reason why the genre sucked me in. I couldn't un-read them if I wanted to, and I wouldn't want to, unless to be able to read them for the first time again.

JCP is a hard act to follow. When I started working on Dead Man I was painfully aware that I had to watch my step not to end up in JCP territory. Some similarities are simply unavoidable, because ghosts are ghosts, and white light has its long established role in spirituality. On top of everything, both of our stories take place in Chicago. That's because the Windy City is the location of Spirit Sanguine. I've been to Chicago and love the city—except in winter—and it seemed like a nice place for vampires. LA with all its sun would've been cruel.

Overall though, I believe I created my own world. Not that I'll ever stop being a fan of Jordan's. She really needs to write that next Psycop book.

Aight, I'm done rambling. Tootles!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Word: Potable

potable |ˈpōtəbəl|adjective formalsafe to drink; drinkable there is no supply of potable water available.DERIVATIVESpotability |ˌpōtəˈbilətē| nounORIGIN late Middle English : from French potable, from late Latin potabilis, from Latin potare ‘to drink.’

Weird-ass word, if you ask me. It sounds like something a bureaucrat would think up to avoid speaking plain English.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Guest Cat

Murry, aka Murmur, is in charge of promo duties over at Stumbling Over Chaos. Head over if you'd like to win a copy of Dead Man and the Restless Spirits.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Word: Prurient

prurient |ˈproŏrēənt|adjectivehaving or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters she'd been the subject of much prurient curiosity.DERIVATIVESprurience nounpruriency nounpruriently adverbORIGIN late 16th cent. (in the sense [having a mental itching] ): from Latin prurient- ‘itching, longing’ and[being wanton,] from the verb prurire.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Friday, June 7, 2013

Double Cover Reveal

The cover of Secrets and Ink was designed by the talented Angie Waters. The book will be out in December, most likely. The hapless protagonist of this novella has a shady past and a few secrets. Unfortunately, his memory is hazy on some of the details, and that gets him into no end of trouble. It's a good thing he has a hunky cop looking after him.

Meanwhile, my old book, Hanging Loose got a new cover and is also available in print. Hanging Loose is a laid-back summer read with little angst and few quirky characters.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday Word: Friable

friable |ˈfrīəbəl|adjectiveeasily crumbled the soil was friable between her fingers.DERIVATIVESfriability |ˌfrīəˈbilətē| nounfriableness nounORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French, or from Latinfriabilis, from friare ‘to crumble.’

Another word that doesn't mean what I thought it meant. I was thinking of chicken wings, potato wedges, and Twinkies--stuff that can be fried. Do we really need another word for crumbly?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday Men: Sunday Afternoon

I found this photo at the flea market yesterday. It's a little fuzzy and time-worn but it also has great details from that Lucky Strike ad to the partial ice cream sign. You can even see inside the shop. I'm pretty sure that's two stacks of ice cream cones in the window. This must be an early 1900s photo.