Thursday, January 23, 2014

Time Travel, Flavored Lube and Going to the Gym, Oh My!!!

Thing the First - Since we last communed on this here blog I have moved my family 2,000 miles across the country into the frozen northern tundra (aka North Dakota) and started a brand new job! It has been a crazy two months but it has been really good too. The hubby, the cat and I love our new apartment and a job that let's us, you know, buy food and pay rent without worrying about bank overdrafts. YAY for being a proper adult.

Thing the Second - This means that everything in my last has sort of been pushed forward by two months - it is still my plan of attack but beginning now instead of two months ago! In the meantime, I did finish an entirely new project that I didn't mention in that post (see thing the third).

Thing the Third - If you are a part of the M/M Romance Group on goodreads.com, you will have heard of the Scavenger Hunt. For those of you who are not, I will give a brief explanation. Each month ten categories were chosen (books with a green cover, book that starts with a "K", book with a doctor as an MC, etc). We had to pick a book for each category. Then, as we were reading those books we had to scavenge for points. There were ten items (eg jock strap, flavored lube), ten locations (eg mansion, gym), ten themes (eg law enforcement, time travel), and ten items to be found on the cover (eg baby, sunglasses). Those items were assigned point values so each book we read had a total point value based on the items found in that book. The team with the most combined points over the course of six months won!

Katie is the fearless leader who kept everything organized and fielded all the nit picky and ridiculous questions concerning what counted for each thing (eg Does a baby dragon on the cover count for the baby on the cover points?). She did all this while pregnant and then with a brand new baby. As a thank you, a bunch of us got together and decided to create a book that hit all FORTY items, locations, themes, and cover items. This is where Hunting Under Covers was born. Over a dozen of us from the scavenger hunt got together to write, beta, edit, design a cover for, and publish this amazing anthology. You can download it for free on goodreads, smashwords, or Divergent Publishing. Contributing authors are Aimee Brissay, Kaje Harper, MYSELF, Shayla Mist, M.E. Sanford, and Jay Vaughn. There is also one round robin story written by many different contributors. I am in the middle of reading the rest of the stories in the anthology but as soon as I am done, I'll be back with details and reviews.



In the interim - here are pics of the two fellows from my contribution (it's story about a Scottish warrior who travels through time in order to save his true love from death), Home.

Angus:

Brian:

If the list of great authors who are in this anthology don't convince you to check it out - then maybe those pics will succeed! ;) Until next time! 


Monday, October 28, 2013

NaNoWriMo

So, many of may have noticed that I have sporadic at best and then mostly silent lately. I have had a lot of trouble finding inspiration and motivation. SO, I have decided to join NaNoWriMo this year. For those you who look at that and go WTF are all those random letters - it stands for the National Novel Writing Month (which is November btw). The goal is to write 50,000 words over the course of a month. Eeeep!  My goals for the month are twofold. First off - Finish True Love's Kiss (OH MY GOODNESS - IT IS TIME ALREADY). I will still parcel it out to you a chapter at a time but it will come on a regular schedule cause it is, you know, already written. But I am not predicting that to take up the full 50,000 words because I already have a good 14,400 words of it written and it is only meant to be novella length by the time it is done. Second off - get started on my next project. I have decided to write something to submit to an actual publisher. One of my very favorite publishers is Less Than Three Press. They are having a submission call for stories about missed connections for an anthology. I have a plot bunny about country singers that was actually inspired by my brief experiment with Music Mondays (hopefully I will get a few more of those in soon - if anyone has songs they want me to use, post in the comments).

So for the tl;dr version - National Novel Writing Month is a thing. I WILL finish True Love's Kiss and I will start my next project which involves country singers and a missed connection. ;)

Thank you for your time and have some pretty for your trouble.





Friday, September 6, 2013

Facebook

I have finally made the jump and joined facebook - about a decade later than everyone else, I know! This means I am sadly lacking in friends right now. So, come be my friend on facebook!! :) This is my profile.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Review: Catch A Ghost


Title: Hell or Highwater #1 - Catch A Ghost
Author: S.E. Jakes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Length:65,000 words
Release Date: 9/9/13
Rating: 4 Quills
Tags: law enforcement, military, private contract work, damaged men, kidnapping, badassery, alphas, hot, paranormal, ambiguous ending
Note: I received a free ARC of this story for the sake of review from Net Galley.

Blurb
Everyone knows that Prophet - former Navy SEAL, former CIA spook, full-time pain in the ass - works alone and thinks only about the trouble he can cause. But his boss, Phil Butler of Extreme Escapes, LTD., has just assigned Proph not only a new partner but also a case haunted by ghosts from Proph's past. Suddenly, he's got to confront them both head on.

Tom Boudreaux - failed FBI agent, failed sheriff, full time believer in bad luck - is wondering why the head of a private contracting firm has hunted him down to offer him a job. Still he's determined to succeed this time, despite being partnered with Prophet, EE, LTD's most successful, lethal, and annoying operative, and even though the case is also resurrecting his own painful past.

Together Prophet and Tom must find a way to take down killers in the dangerous world of underground cage matches, while fighting their own dangerous attraction. And when they find themselves caught in the crossfire, these two loners are forced to trust each other and work together to escape their ghosts...or pay the price.

Review

This is the story of two severely broken men trying figure out how to keep on living. Prophet struggles with guilt and ghosts from his past as he races to catch a future he doesn't really want. Tom has enough baggage to weigh down anyone and just doesn't want to drag anyone else down with him. Neither wants a partner - though for different reasons - but their boss, Phil Butler doesn't give them a choice. Prophet and Tom are sent on an assignment that tugs at Prophet's past in more ways than are apparent and the case pulls both of them into a dark and confusing world of slowly planned revenge and promises made that must be broken.

The first thing that drew me into this story were the rich, multidimensional characters. Cop/Spy/Assassin novels are a dime a dozen in the genre and after awhile it seems you are reading the same book over and over again. This is not that book. These are not those characters. Tom and Prophet are a unique blend of walls and vulnerability. The moment you think you have one of them pegged, they go and surprise you with a bout of truth or unexpected insight. These two play well off of each other with interesting dialogue and gut wrenching emotion.

I was also impressed with the fact S.E. remained true to her characters and true to her story by not wrapping everything in a pretty bow by the end of the book. I was initially shocked, and maybe a bit dismayed, by how the ending left Tom and Prophet. However, the more I thought about it the more excited I got for the books to come in this series. Rather than wrapping everything up and then tacking books with superficial conflict on for the sake of making a series, S.E. is allowing her characters room for real growth and development in the later books. 

There were just a couple of things that occasionally knocked me out of the story though. Since this is my first book by S.E., I am not sure if this is just her writing style or if it was an affectation of the narrative voice in this book. However, I noticed a tendency to leave out the subject, especially at the beginning of sentences. This can be used, on occasion to good effect. However, it was used so often that I found myself annoyed every time I saw it and I kept wanting pull out my red pen and add a subject.

Nevertheless, the wonderful characterization and solid plotting were plenty enough to make me want to continue despite this stylistic choice. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys darker mysteries with an element of the paranormal or anyone who likes to see two well developed alpha males go at each other. In many ways, Catch a Ghost, is reminiscent of the feel of Abi Roux's Cut & Run series (the later books of which are also available from Riptide). If you are a fan of that series, you should definitely check this series out!



You can pre-order Catch a Ghost here at Riptide Publishing for $6.99. If you are not into the whole pre-ordering thing, it will be released on September 9, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Falling Apart is Available!!!

Hello All,
As you may know I wrote a second Love Has No Boundaries story for the goodreads.com M/M Romance Group. My second story is called Falling Apart. It is a wee bit darker than my usual stuff but my regular beta says it is one her favorites. I hope you enjoy it as well. Click here to read it. You have to be a member of the M/M Romance group at this point to access it (it is not hard, so if you aren't, you should be). In a few weeks, downloads will be available if you don't want to read it in the group thread. If you read and enjoy it please please please rate/review it. I would love you forever. ;) You can review it here.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Announcement Delayed

So I know I said I had an awesome announcement for y'all today but alas, it is not dependent only upon myself and the other party has issued a delay. Tune back in on Friday to see what I was I going to reveal today! I am being mysterious and I love it. ;) Now, as a thanks for tuning in, here is some pretty. :D


Monday, August 26, 2013

Urghhh...It's Monday

I have two words to explain my silence this last little while: migraines suck. We'll leave that subject there. To help you through your Monday (and me through mine), I will leave you with some lovely pretty. I don't have much more to say today BUT I have an awesome announcement tomorrow so be sure to check back in!



Do you sense a theme? ;)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

True Love's Kiss Update #5

Hello Everyone,
Would you believe that, despite having this blog for almost two years now I have NEVER tried to schedule a future post before. Well, it is true. And it is also the reason I have been incommunicado for the past week. I went out of town where I would have minimal reliable internet so I "scheduled" a week's worth of posts in advance. But alas. Rather than pressing "publish" which I assumed would publish them immediately, I put in the date and pressed save. Well, here we are a week later and none of them have been posted. Mea culpa. I don't want to inundate you with a week's worth of posts in one day so I will do one a day for a few days until I am caught up. So without further ado, I give you True Love's Kiss Part 5.

Click here for the True Love's Kiss main page or click here to go straight to Part 5!

Summary
Be begins to learn to fight from his bodyguard, Cresp and one day, Kalristian is caught watching one of their training sessions. Much to Be's surprise, Kalristian becomes flustered and ends up asking him out to the Fairy Gardens later that evening. While their outing begins rockily, Be and Kalristian open up to each other and decide to start again. They have a pleasant evening and are about to consummate with a kiss when they are interrupted with the news that Nullnomen has caught the shooter who attempted to kill Be.

Behind the Scenes
This was one of my favorite chapters to write. Firstly, because it was sweet and romantic (and I LOVE that) and secondly because I got to torture readers with a cliffhanger ending (muahahaha). Also, until this point, I had a much shorter version of this story planned. As I set up the shooter being caught I had to plan what the shooter was going to say and more explicitly outline how the evil plot was going to play out. Rather than make it a simple power grab (which was what I had in mind originally) I decided to add some complexity to it. No, you don't get to know what that complexity is yet BUT you will get to find out before the end. ;) Because of the plotting and planning that went into this chapter the whole story is probably going to be about twice as long as originally planned. The writer in me hopes that this will please y'all.

Also, some fun for any weapons enthusiasts out there. This is an approximation of the hammers that Be is learning to fight with. They are not the same size/shape as his blacksmithing hammers but it is familiar enough that he feel comfortable wielding them.


And just for a comparison, this is what one of his blacksmith hammers would look like - a little smaller and a little lighter. 


I hope you enjoyed that behind the scenes look and I'll be back tomorrow with some more! :D


Monday, July 29, 2013

Music Monday - Love Don't Live Here Anymore

Hello My Blog Readers,
I have been inspired. Yay! I am going to start a new thing. It may not go every Monday but I am hoping for at least twice a month. BUT, I need your help!!! I have always enjoyed listening to music and often those songs spin stories out in my head but I never get around to writing them down. Usually because I mostly listen to music while I am driving and fifteen songs later I have forgotten whatever story inspiration hit me. So, what I am doing is Music Monday. Music Monday will be ficbits inspired by songs! Now, to make it a little more fun, I wan't y'all to tell me what your favorite songs, most inspiring songs, most story worthy songs are. Post song title and artist (and link to a youtube video of that song if possible) in the comments. Depending on how many songs get posted I will work my way through the list posting a short ficbit inspired by each song. I am pretty excited about this so PLEASE PLEASE leave comments! Just so you know, this won't impact the True Love's Kiss schedule at all.

For today, I picked a song and wrote a ficbit to go with it - just as an example. Hope you enjoy it!


Love Don't Live Here Anymore
“Real Adventures Travel Agency – Where we can make your dreams come true. This is Aiden. How may I help you?” I spoke with a falsely cheerful voice into my headset. It had been a crazy day. No one just wanted to go parasailing in the rain forest or to lie on a beach somewhere. No, today people were asking for nudist kayaking and African Safari petting zoos.

My mind wandered as I listened to this customer describe long lost fraternity days and a bet made and could I help him find a place he and his buddies could swim with the sharks. That, at least, I could do. I was almost through with my formulaic “Good-bye and thank you for choosing Real Adventures Travel Agency” when I heard the bell over the door ring.

I hung up the phone, plastered a smile on my face and prepared to greet the next in a long line of customers. When I saw who was framed in the doorway, I squeezed my eyes shut, shook my head and prayed I was hallucinating. I opened them again and, unfortunately, I was not hallucinating.

Jeremy Jensen, ex-boyfriend and heart breaker extraordinaire was standing in front of me with one of his stupid arrogant smirks painted across his features. He was supposed to be working in Europe with his young pretty twink of a “research assistant” – not here, ruining my day.

“What, no warm welcome?”

I closed my eyes, braced myself on my desk for a moment, and pushed myself up out of my chair. Just before I let my hands rise with me I quickly pressed the two buttons needed to send Nick our pre-planned text for this situation. He’s here.

Now, Jeremy had never hit me. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t terrified of him. Somehow he wormed his way into my thoughts and managed to twist them all about without me even realizing it. It wasn’t until he was gone and my newly found best friend, Nick, shook some sense into me that I was even able to see how toxic Jeremy had been for me.

Somehow I always knew he would be back for me. It was what terrified me the most. Even knowing how he worked, somewhere deep inside the darkest parts of my heart I liked that someone, anyone, wanted me. That’s what the text was for – accountability. And Nick was probably already on his way over here. He worked in a building about five blocks away.

I shook myself back into the present and looked Jeremy square in the eyes. “No. No warm welcome. You lost that right when you ran off with Graham.”

A cloud passed over Jeremy’s features and he took an angry jerking step forward. I stood my ground behind my desk. This was no time to show weakness. Almost frighteningly quickly, his features changed. No longer was he radiating anger. Instead he had turned on the charm.

“Come on, baby. You know I love you. I’m sorry I made a mistake. I’m home now.”

My heart jumped painfully when I heard him call me baby. I heard Nick’s voice sternly inside my head. He doesn’t love you. He never did. He just wants to own you. I repeated it to myself one more time before I said, out loud, “No. I am not your baby anymore. I am sorry if you think you love me but I don’t love you anymore. Please leave.”

I head the bell over the door ring again. Over Jeremy’s shoulder, I saw Nick’s towering form. I almost let a sigh of relief escape but blocked it off at the last second.

Jeremy glanced over his shoulder, saw Nick, and turned back to me. “This isn’t over yet,” he hissed.

“Yes, it is.” I said in a cold voice. I stared at him, unwavering for another few seconds before he turned and stormed out of the door.

As soon as he was out of sight around the corner, I collapsed into my chair. I was startled by Nick’s loud whoop from closer than I realized he was.

He had a smile on his face and nearly shouted, “You were fantastic!”

I nodded shakily and tried to smile back at him but I was still a little off balance. Then he pulled me out of my chair and into his arms. My arms snapped to hold him tight, almost out of reflex. As he held me tight, supporting me, he whispered in my ear, “I am so proud of you.”

All of the sudden an awareness shot through me. I figured out what that tension that had been just under the surface these past few months had been. He had been waiting – waiting to make sure I was over Jeremy, waiting to make sure I was ready before he made his move.

With a surety I had never felt about any part of my relationship with Jeremy, I lead back, threaded my hands through Nick’s hair and pulled him forward so I could press my lips to his.

For a moment, he didn’t react – probably from the shock. Then his arms tightened and his lips moved and a moan escaped from somewhere deep inside him. Then it didn’t matter because we had melted into each other and it was perfect.

It was almost the end of the day so I broke the kiss for just long enough to lock the door, flip the sign to closed and drag Nick into the back room. He proceeded to shove me up against the wall and kiss me like his depended on it.

For the first time in a long time, I felt truly happy.


The Beginning.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

True Love's Kiss Update #4

I have been a little remiss in my True Love's Kiss posts this weekend. We can blame the Love Has No Boundaries event for posting my story yesterday. If you didn't get a chance scroll down a bit and click through to read Pickup Lines at the Goodreads.com M/M Romance Group. Without further adieu, I give you a brief summary of Part 4 and a little behind the scenes insight into (dun dun dun) the mind of the writer. *woo woo*

Summary
Be wakes up in bed, after being shot, only to find that King Kalristian has used the healing magic of the royal bloodline to heal him from his injuries. Much to his shock, Kalristian kneels before him and apologizes for allowing him to injured. After staying abed for one more day, Be attends a meeting with the King's inner counsel to discuss the assassination attempt. The King's spymaster, Nullnomen, deduces that Bierni was the actual target. If he is dead then they would be forced to put Kalristian back to sleep. After the meeting, Be and Kalristian share an unexpected moment.

In My Mind
This was an interesting chapter to write because it is the chapter where Be and Kalristian's relationship begins to develop into something less than hateful. I am used to writing short stories so generally things go a bit fast. However, I am trying to make this story longer so I struggled with how quickly to shift their relationship to make it realistic but also not draw it out too terribly.

Additionally, it was also the chapter in which I introduce the mystery - who shot Be and why? In order to do this I introduced Master Nullnomen and Silurianus' son. I admit, I was a bit ham-handed in their introduction and I might edit it a bit in the re-write. I sometimes get a wee bit over excited when naming my characters. I like to research what the name means and be really clever.
That is where Nullnomen came from. I may have taken six years of latin during high school and college and the name - in some horrible bastaridization of romance languages - literally means "no name" or "empty name." Thus, the king's master spy. I can't bring myself to change it despite it's ridiculosity. :D I figure if I'm the one writing, I get to have a little fun with it. ;)

I'll see you back in a day or so with the next update!