Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve Virtual Potluck - And a Chance to Win

Food is more than just sustenance. Jon, the narrator of Dead in L.A. and Dead in the Desert, is a manly man, former construction worker. However, he also cooks and rather well. Deep down he's a nurturer and making sure loved ones eat well is one of the ways he takes care of them.

Jon does everything he can to deny and suppress his growing attraction and affection toward, his new roommate, Leander, but he gives himself away when he starts feeding the guy.

Before Jon, Leander lived on instant ramen, sandwiches, and herbal teas. The only thing he can really cook is chicken soup, but he makes it only when somebody is ill. He appreciates good food though, especially after work. Oh yeah, he's a psychic pet detective, and unofficial consulting police psychic.

I plan to publish the third and final installment of their story in February. It's tentatively titled Dead and Unfound. The story takes place in autumn when the weather might get cold even in Southern California. It might even rain. It's a perfect season for Jon to make goulash.

Many people think goulash is a stew, but they are wrong and should be ashamed of their ignorance. True goulash is a hearty soup of meet and vegetables. Add a slice of bread and it's a meal.

Goulash Soup (Gulyásleves)


·      5 slices bacon, chopped
·      3 pounds boneless chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
·      2 tablespoons vegetable oil
·      4 medium onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped fine
·      3 garlic cloves, minced
·      3 tablespoons paprika (preferably Hungarian sweet*)
·      1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
·      1/3 cup all-purpose flour
·      1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
·      1/4 cup tomato paste
·      5 cups beef broth
·      5 cups water
·      1/2 teaspoon salt
·      2 red bell peppers, chopped fine
·      4 large russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
*available at specialty foods shops and many supermarkets


In an 8-quart heavy kettle cook bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. In fat remaining in kettle brown chuck in small batches over high heat, transferring it as browned with slotted spoon to bowl.

Reduce heat to moderate and add oil. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until golden. Stir in paprika, caraway seeds, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Whisk in vinegar and tomato paste and cook, whisking, 1 minute.
Stir in broth, water, salt, bell peppers, bacon, and chuck and bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer soup, covered, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add potatoes to soup and simmer, covered, occasionally until tender, about 30 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper. 


For more potluck entrées:

You can "choose your own dinner adventure" from appetizers, soup, salad, main dish and dessert, but those of you who visit and comment at each and every blog will be entered into a drawing for one of three (3) $35.00 gift cards to the venue of your choice: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance Ebooks. For more info and clickable links, go HERE.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Vintage Monday: Flammable Memories

That's me at Christmas a lifetime ago. Yes those are real candles on the tree. We only lit them for a few minutes, but we still had a few minor tree fires over the years. We later upgraded to string lights, but they were Russian made an liable to zap you.

I must've been three or four at the time of this photo--still the age when people used to tell me what a cute little boy I was. Probably because of the haircut, and that I didn't like wearing dresses. I always made a big issue telling them I was a girl.

I was shy and had no manners back then. Consequently, I often got the "Did the cat get your tongue?"  question from adults. To which I stuck it out at them. My mother was mortified, I didn't understand why, I was only showing those people the errors of their assumptions.

Looking back, I have to admit not much changes. I'm still an introvert with no social skills, refuse to wear dresses, and my hair is short. Though the last time someone mistook me for a guy was in college, and only from behind. I must've walked like a man. One thing is different: I don't put candles on the tree.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Santa Reading Kindle Papyrus

Secrets and Charms is live at all the usual retailers. It's the second book of the "Secrets" series but not truly a sequel. Charms tells the story of Olly, who was a supporting character in Secrets and Ink. However, to those who enjoyed Ink, Charms delivers a similar package: humor, romance, smexy times, and a dash of mystery. Plus a highly fictionalized take on the movie business.

Writing this story I had a good time making up fictional movie titles for various genres from slasher flick to Oscar-bait. But my favorite is Olly's beloved gay porn flick from above. I put real research into this. No, I don't mean watching gay porn! Not this time, anyway. What I mean is, that I had to use math (!) to figure out when the movie was produced, then look up the popular mainstream movies of the time to come up with a spoof title. (The research probably ended with me either watching gay porn or youtube videos of cute animals. I don't remember, but that's how most of my researches end.)

The next Secrets book, Secrets and Bow Ties, is scheduled to come out in May. In it we'll find out more about the "plot" of Dildo Menace, and Brian Rockwell's anatomy.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Vintage Monday: Holidays

Right ho, as Bertie Wooster would say. Let's get this holiday thing over with. I still haven't wrapped presents, and will start baking cookies tomorrow or so, but currently I have a lot of work to finish before I can take a breather.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Free Stuff!!

Secrets and Ink is currently free on All Romance eBooks. Grab it while it's hot!

The next book in the series, Secrets and Charms is coming out next Tuesday. Lots of naughty boys to warm your Christmas stockings. :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Vintage Monday: One Fine Dandy

I considered posting something wintery or even holiday but in the end decided to keep up my resistance of the seasonal madness and picked this fine gentleman instead. Just look at him! He's the cat's meow and he knows it. I wonder how long it took him to get dressed and if he had help.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday Word: Pugnacious

pugnacious |pəgˈnā sh əs|adjectiveeager or quick to argue, quarrel, or fight the increasingly pugnacious demeanor of politicians.• having the appearance of a willing fighter the set of her pugnacious jaw.DERIVATIVESpugnaciously adverbpugnacity |ˌpəgˈnasətē| nounORIGIN mid 17th cent.from Latin pugnax, pugnac-(from pugnare ‘to fight,’ from pugnus fist’ ) + -ious .

Poor pugs, they are really not all that quarrelsome in general, but chihuahuanacious would be too much of a mouthful.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Demon

Europeans might not have Thanksgiving but they make up for it with St. Nick's Day. You see, there Christmas used to be more about the Nativity and such. On the night of December 5th you left your boots on the windowsill. St. Nicholas stopped by during the night and if you were nice he left candy and fruit in your boots. But he didn't travel alone.

 The jolly fat man's companion was a hair, horned demon, with cloven hooves and an obscenely long tongue. He beat the naughty kids with a willow switch—if they were lucky. Alternately, he stuffed them into his basket and took them to hell.

Lovely, isn't it? Men dressing up as Krampus and scaring the living daylight out of little children was a popular activity in the olden days, as this old photo illustrates:

Krampus fell out of favor sometimes after WWII. I guess people had bigger, scarier things in their lives. It's gaining popularity again, though.

Hungarians added an extra letter to the holiday demon's name, because they just like to complicate things. My holiday themed short story, Krampusz takes place in Budapest, and is available from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and Barnes & Noble

Regrettably, it does NOT contain monster porn. But it's only my list. Right after tentacle sex. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Creative Baking

It's my belief that all human beings have a creative urge, and creativity can take many forms. One of mine is baking.

I had leftover homemade cranberry sauce and search the internet high and low for a recipe to use it up. When I couldn't find anything I liked, I made up my own:

Chocolate Cranberry Sauce Banana Bread

2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
4 oz (one stick) of butter at room temperature
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 ripe banana smashed
3/4 cup cranberry sauce
4 oz dark chocolate
1 tbs blackstrap molasses (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
A bit of crystallized brown sugar or white sugar

  • Preheat oven at 350ºF.
  • Rub the insides of a loaf pan with butter. Drop in some sugar and shake it around to coat the bottom and sides. Shake out the access.
  • Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
  • Mix butter and brown sugar till smooth and creamy.
  • Mix in molasses.
  • Add eggs one by one and blend with electric mixer, fully incorporating each.
  • Add melted chocolate, mix it in.
  • In separate bowl mix flour and baking powder together.
  • Add flour mix to wet ingredients, incorporate fully.
  • Add banana, cranberry and vanilla. Mix.
  • Pour it all into the loaf pan and bake till a tooth pick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let it cool for a bit. When cool enough turn it upside-down—it will smoothly slip out of the pan.
  • Eat plain or with jam, by itself or with coffee, tea. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Whatever Friday

I'm not someone who rushes to the stores on Black Friday. I hate malls on a good day and bargain-mad crowds freak me out. Consequently, this is the day when I rather don't even leave the house. Perfect day for reading and sipping hot cocoa.

Fortunately for those of use suffering from chronic mob-aversion, nowadays you can shop in the safety and your privacy of your home, wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers, and still not miss out on the deals. All Romance eBooks is having a HUGE sale. Two of my own books, Dead Man and the Restless Spirits and Dead in LA are FREE for the day.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gobble, Gobble

My plan for today is to make hot apple cider and cheese straws and go over to my friends' house later. I usually bring desert, but I suspect there will be pie overload, so I had to find alternatives.

To be honest, while I don't hate pumpkin pie, it's not on the top of my list of deserts. I have a pretty easy but delicious recipe for and apple-cranberry pie, which I probably got off from a can of cranberries or such.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wednesday Word: Cantrip

cantrip |ˈkantrip|noun Scottish, archaica mischievous or playful act; a trick.ORIGIN late 16th cent. (also in the sense [witch's trick]): of unknown origin.

I came across this word recently in Mike Carey's novel, The Devil You Know. The book was a mixed experience--nice prose, but by Jove, the story moved like molasses. I was listening to the audiobook and my mind kept wandering off. That never happens when the story is interesting.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Vintage Monday: Football

I know football season has started because it's Thanksgiving this week. Yeah, you can guess how much attention I pay to this sport. I once went to a Notre Dame game but left at half time because I was bored out of my skull. Honestly, rugby seems far more exciting. Men in short shorts tackling each other. Mmm....

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Monday After

BentCon was a blast, but now I'm exhausted and have a ton of shit to catch up with. Will try to give a better report later. Roger, out.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Come see me (and other, more interesting authors) at BentCon this weekend!

I'll be at BentCon this weekend. It's my second time at this event, but last year I popped in as a visitor, to test out of the waters. The event is what ComiCon must've been when it just started out--small, loosely but enthusiastically organized. Oh, and bent, of course.

LE Franks and Rhys Ford have taken it upon themselves to present the m/m contingent under the Inkslingers umbrella. We'll have a booth, sell books, participate on panels. I don't envy them for having to herd unruly cats like yours truly. Scroll down this page to see who will be there.

Stop by if you're from LA. It's a cool, informal event and the tickets are dirt cheap.

I'll be womanning the booth at these times:

Friday 3-5pm and 6-7pm
Saturday 5-8 pm
Sunday 2-5 pm

I'll be on the Scify, Fantasy, and Supernatural Panel 5-6 pm on Friday and Surviving Self-Publishing 1-2 pm on Sunday.

I'll be floating about the other times too, but don't try to catch me 12-5pm on Saturday--I'll be going to series of panels during that time.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

French Kiss

Mort Sous Le Soleil went live on the sites of various French retailers yesterday, and it's doing rather well on the French Amazon. Briefly it was #1 in the Kindle Fantasy category, and is doing well in the overall fantasy category--#4 at the moment. When I looked at that page I was surprised to find my little book in the company of stockier books by George R.R. Martin, J.R.R Tolkien (what's up with all the Rs?), and Robin Hobb.

Of course, I have no idea what it means in actual sales. For all I know, there are five people in France reading the genre. I don't care. For now I'll just bask.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Word: Transplendent


(adj) resplendent in the highest degree

resplendent |riˈsplendənt|adjectiveattractive and impressive through being richly colorful or sumptuous she was resplendent in a sea-green dress. See note at bright 

Transplendent is an odd word, not in Merriam-Webster, but in Wiktionary, that identifies the 1913 edition of Webster's as its source. I don't know what to make of it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Word: Rime

rime  |rīm|noun (also rime ice)frost formed on cold objects by the rapid freezing of water vapor in cloud or fog.• poetic/literary hoarfrost.verb [ trans. poetic/literarycover (an object) with hoarfrost he does not brush away the frost that rimes his beard.ORIGIN Old English hrīm, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch rijm. The word became rare in Middle English but was revived in literary use at the end of the 18th cent.

It's that time of the year in many places, not in LA though. Sometime I miss certain sights, smells, and sounds of living in a place with seasons.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vintage Monday: Kilt Edition

I spent the last week listening to Diana Gabaldon's The Scottish Prisoner. I'm a huge fan of Lord John Gray and both admire and envy Gabaldon's prose. Jamie Frasier and his surliness were rubbing me the wrong way, though, for a large part of the book. He grew on me in the end, once he mellowed out a little. And I'm starting to to develop a thing for Scottish accents--my second favorite after Welsh.

The guy above is I think from the Canadian Highlander regiment, but who gives a damn. Men should wear kilts all the time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday Word: Anthropophagy

anthropophagy |ˌanθrəˈpäfəjē|nounthe eating of human flesh by human beings.DERIVATIVESanthropophagous |-gəs| adjectiveORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Greek anthrōpophagia, from anthrōpophagos (see anthropophagi ).

I had no clue there was a word--in English at least--specifically for human-on-human cannibalism. I think I found this word on Pinterest when I stumbled over the Psoglav, a demonic figure of Slavic lore. However, I don't believe a demon eating is true anthropophagy, even if said demon has a more or less human body.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Word: Apotropaic

apotropaic |ˌapətrəˈpā-ik|adjectivesupposedly having the power to avert evil influences or bad luck apotropaic statues.DERIVATIVESapotropaically |-ik(ə)lē| adverbORIGIN late 19th cent.: from Greek apotropaios‘averting evil,’ from apotrepein ‘turn away or from’-ic .

I can't remember where I picked up this word, but I've been reading lots of urban fantasy lately.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vintage Monday: Same Old, Same Old

I found this on Pinterest, and the best I can figure it must have been the poster for some propaganda movie about the evils of female sexuality. The kind that titillates and admonishes at once. Because, you know, a woman in charge of her own body and desires is the first sign of the end of civilization. After all, a woman should allow a penis penetrate the sanctity of her body only with disgust and within the confines of marriage.

Considering current conservative rhetorics and the the political disputes over whether birth control should be covered by health insurance, very little changes in the last half a century or so.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Word: Salmagundi

salmagundi |ˌsalməˈgəndē|noun ( pl. -dis )dish of chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, andseasoning.• a general mixture; a miscellaneous collection.ORIGIN from French salmigondis, of unknownorigin.

Just another word for mishmash.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Vintage Monday: Do you remember these?

I do. And I just recently realized what a relic it makes me.

Public libraries are one of the best inventions. Anyone who's against them should be shot. Out of a cannon and into a field of cacti.

Since the protagonists of my next Secrets book (fourth in the collection) will be a couple of bartenders, naturally I set out on research mission of everything mixology. My inquiries led to me to The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks by David A. Embury, a book that has been out of print for decades and copies of it sell for more than a pretty penny. Fortunately, the LA County Public Library system has several copies.

As I opened it I saw the familiar pocket, but there was no card in it, so I put my receipt there. At least, it's still a print book. Most days I mostly consume ebooks and audiobooks, both of which the Library has plenty. I love libraries.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wednesday Word: Avuncular

avuncular |əˈvə ng kyələr|adjectiveof or relating to an uncle.• kind and friendly toward a younger or less experienced person an avuncular manner.Anthropology of or relating to the relationship between men and their siblings' children.ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Latin avunculus‘maternal uncle,’ diminutive of avus grandfather.’

I would've never guessed this one.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Status Update – The Hot And Sticky Edition

I've been melting—it's been too effing hot in SoCal lately.  It's kinda hard to think when your brain is trying to turn into jello.

On the bright side, I managed to finish the first draft of Secrets and Bow Ties, the third book in the Secrets collection. The first one was Secrets and Ink and came out last December. The second one is Secrets and Charms and is slated for this December.

The one-year gap between book one and two is pretty big, but since Bow Ties is not a sequel but a spin off, I hope it doesn't matter too much. Bow Ties is supposed to come out in May 2015, and the fourth book, Secrets and High Spirits in October 2015, so those three will be pretty close together—assuming everything goes according to plans.

 It is often said that in a series the sales go down by every sequel. I wonder if this still applies if the stories are not actual sequels. Every Secrets book is a standalone, can be read in any order. Characters wander from one the other, but the protagonists of one story are bit players of the other.

Supporting characters from other books make appearances too. Bran's mother, Layla, (Dead Man books) plays a small role in Charms, and will probably return in High Spirits. Struggling actress, Sandy Baker first had a role in Hanging Loose, and was mentioned in Spirit Sanguine. In Charms she has a very big supporting role.

Before jumping on High Spirits, I plan to write another novella featuring Jon and Leander from Dead In L.A. and Dead In The Desert. I also have plans for another paranormal book or series, in the vein of the Dead Man books, but with different characters and set in LA. Hopefully my brain won't melt before I get to it.

(gratuitous cat picture)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Word: Cryptid

Following the paw prints of Monday's Wolpertinger, I give you the phooka. What these creatures have common is that they are bot cryptids.

"In cryptozoology and sometimes in cryptobotany, a cryptid (from the Greek κρύπτω, krypto, meaning "hide") is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but has not been discovered or documented by the scientific community. Cryptids often appear in folklore and mythology, leading to stories and unfounded belief about their existence. Well-known examples include the Yeti in the Himalayas, the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, Bigfoot in North America and the Chupacabra in Latin America." (Wikipedia)

"The púca (Irish for spirit/ghost), pooka, phouka, phooka, phooca, puca or púka, is primarily a creature of Irish folklore. Considered to be bringers both of good and bad fortune, they could either help or hinder rural and marine communities. The creatures were said to be shape changers which could take the appearance of black horses, goats and rabbits." (Wikipedia)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Vintage Monday: Wolpertinger

I was rummaging on Pinterest for mythical creatures this morning and came across this 16th century Albrecht Dürer illustration of the Wolpertinger. It's a creature of Bavarian folklore, composed from various animal parts--here seen as a rabbit with antlers and wings, although other formations are possible too.

I wonder if it can fly. The wings should at least help it to jump higher.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Word: Restive

restive |ˈrestiv|adjective(of a person) unable to keep still or silent and becomingincreasingly difficult to control, esp. because ofimpatience, dissatisfaction, or boredom.• (of a horse) refusing to advance, stubbornly standing still or moving backward or sideways.DERIVATIVESrestively adverbrestiveness nounORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Old French restif, -ive, from Latin restare ‘remain.’ The original sense,[inclined to remain still, inert,] has undergone a reversal; the association with the refractory movements of a horse gave rise to the current sense [fidgety,restless.]

This word means exactly the opposite I would've guessed. I doubt restive is used much these days--I only became aware of it listening to Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon.

Oh, and I've fallen in love with Lord John. Diana Gabaldon's writing tend for the long-winded, and must admit my attention was flagging when I first starting to read the book. However, my experience much improved switching to the ebook. The narrator, Jeff Woodman, is top-notch, unfurling the lengthy prose with ease.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Word: Lugubrious

lugubrious |ləˈg(y)oōbrēəs|adjectivelooking or sounding sad and dismal. See note at glum .DERIVATIVESlugubriously adverblugubriousness nounORIGIN early 17th cent.: from Latin lugubris (fromlugere ‘mourn’ ) + -ous .

This word is a mouthful, you can roll it around on your tongue like a hard candy. I'd use it in conversation, but nobody would know what I'm saying.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wednesday Word: Lacuna

lacuna |ləˈk(y)oōnə|noun ( pl. -nae |-nī; -nē| or -nas )an unfilled space or interval; a gap the journal has filled a lacuna in Middle Eastern studies.• a missing portion in a book or manuscript.• Anatomy a cavity or depression, esp. in bone.DERIVATIVESlacunal |ləˈk(y)oōnl| adjectivelacunar|ˈlakyəˌnerē; ləˈk(y)oōnərē| adjectivelacunate |-ˌnāt; -nit; ˈlakyəˌnāt| adjectivelacunose |ˈlakyəˌnōs; -ˌnōz| adjectiveORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Latin, ‘pool,’ from lacus‘lake.’

I love the sound of this word but it should be the name of an animal from the rainforest--something small, sleek, and furry.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Vintag Monday: Conundrum

I have no idea what's going on here. This could be a photo of a bearded lady, perhaps from a circus sideshow or a Victorian cross-dresser. Or a cross-dresser disguised as a bearded lady.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Word: Hornswoggle

hornswoggle |ˈhôrnˌswägəl|verb [ trans. (usu. be hornswoggled) informalget the better of (someone) by cheating or deception :you mean to say you were hornswoggled?
ORIGIN early 19th cent. (originally U.S.): of unknown origin.

Colorful word, but not commonly used, probably because there are so many lively synonyms: hoodwink, bamboozle, flimflam, sucker, and more.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Vintage Monday: Kilt

This laddie is actually in uniform. He probably served in WWI. I hope he made it--he looks so young.

I wonder about the practicality of kilt in the trenches, especially in winter.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Kilt

Denton shrugged. "Bran can be difficult at times."

She nodded with sympathy. "Men. Can't live with them, can't bury them under the porch. What's the matter? Maybe I can impart you my wisdom."

"Aren't you single?"

"At the moment, but I date. Plenty enough. Trust me, I know men."

Denton opened his mouth, but he immediately realized he couldn't breath a word of Peter or the frog business. Joy knew only so much about Bran's past and talents, and this secret wasn't Denton's to share. So he course-corrected. "What do you think of kilts?"

"On men?"

"Of course."

She grinned. "They are hawt. More than shorts. I'm not sure why. Probably because they make your imagination run wild wondering what's under, and hoping for a stray gust of wind. It must be like in the old times when women were so bundled up a glimpse of an ankle drove men crazy. I bet Gerard Butler in a kilt is ten times sexier than Gerard Butler naked."

Denton hadn't expected such a thorough reply. "You have paid some thought to this before, haven't you?"

(Dead Man and the Army of Frogs)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday Word: Bromance

noun \ˈbrō-ˌman(t)s\

a close nonsexual friendship between men

bromantic adjective

blend of bro and romance
First Known Use: 2004

So the big news is, 5,000 new words have been added to the Scrabble Dictionary, including bromance.

I first understood the true meaning of this word watching on youtube Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto give interviews around the premier of the Start Trek reboot. I mean, just look at them. It was obvious from the body language that these guys are not only friends but extremely comfortable with each other.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dead Man and the Army of Frogs

The newest installment in the Dead Man series is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and All Romance eBooks. Branes & Noble and print are coming soon.

Self-publishing has its challenges but it gets easier the more you do it. You also learn a few tricks along the way. For example, if you want Smashwords to accept your epub file for upload, you have to compile the epub in Scrivener then convert it from epub to epub in Calibre. Nuts but it works.

Whenever I'm uploading my books I get frustrated by the available categories. Dead Man and the Army of Frogs is a contemporary gay paranormal romance mystery. Probably more mystery than romance. It could possibly be also categorized as urban fantasy. One thing it isn't is gay fiction. Yet I'm forced to pic gay fiction as one of my categories at almost all vendors' sites for the gay part to register at all.

Amazon allows you to pick two categories only. So I chose gay fiction and paranormal romance. However, now that it's live it listed under nine categories, including gay romance. I'm convince that the Amazon goblins pick the additional categories based on the tags you supply. (Ironically, the tags don't appear on the book page anymore.)

All Romance eBooks is the only retailer I know that lets you pick gay romance as a category. If they can do it why can't the others?

Anyway, enough of my yakking. Enjoy this excerpt from Dead Man and the Army of Frogs:

"What in the name of Hecate are you wearing?" Bran's tone teetered between bafflement and alarm.

Denton had anticipated Bran's reaction, and secretly reveled in being able to surprise his generally unflappable boyfriend. He had promised to buy them a pair of kilts months ago but he knew Bran hadn't taken him seriously. Taking two steps into the living room he twirled around in a totally non-girly way. "It's called a utility kilt." He swiveled his hips to show off the side of the garment. "See, it even has pockets for storing stuff. You know, keys, wallet, a bag of graveyard dust. Whatever you got. Practical, eh?"

Technically, his kilt had gone well beyond mere utility with its steampunk-inspired design of straps, buckles, and other embellishments, but Denton had always liked extras. He'd wanted the kilt the moment he laid eyes on it at the online store.

Bran stared at the tan fabric first, then at Denton's bare legs showing between the hem and the orange socks puddling around his ankles. "It looks like a skirt to me."

Denton eagerly clarified the situation. "Nah, it only would be a skirt if I wore underpants."

With a pained expression Bran closed his eyes and kept them shut for several seconds—possibly counting to ten. When he opened them again they brimmed with resignation. "You're going to freeze your balls off."

"We're driving, aren't we?"

"Yes, but—"

"My balls will be fine." Denton did a quick shimmy with his hips. The swoosh of the thick cotton against his skin was anything but unpleasant. "You should try this; it feels so…liberating."

Bran's jaws set in a stubborn line. "I'm not going to a dinner at your friend's place wearing a skirt."

"Kilt. And Joy's your friend too now. Anyway, I meant around the house. Instead of those baggy jeans. The kilt I bought for you is tasteful and black, just how you like your clothing, but still functional with a pocket on one side for your eyes of newt or whatnot." He closed the few steps separating them till they were toe-to-toe. He wrapped his arms around Bran's waist. "It would be much more comfortable for your tail." Denton wasn't talking euphemistically. Bran had a perfectly formed, hairless, and surprising agile tail. Apparently, stuff like this happened when you had a demon for a father. Denton slipped a hand down to Bran's backside, over the spot where ordinary people had the beginning of their coccyx and pressed his finger at the root of Bran's bonus appendage. "Just think about it," Denton said quickly to cut off possible protest.

Bran sighed. "Fine, I'll think about it."

Denton grinned. "Good, because I have a pornucopia of fantasies of you in a kilt."