BDSM in a Lesbian World #authorcorner with Caitlin Ricci and Cari Z

Hi! Thanks for spending a little time today with me, Caitlin Ricci, and my co-author, Cari Z, as we talk about our new novel, Camellia. Today we wanted to talk a little bit about what dominance means to us since Camellia is a lesbian romance with BDSM aspects and we both feel that the idea of someone who is dominant over another person is often confused with other ideas about BDSM as a whole.

Dannybanner(1)

Cari

Let me put this out there: I’m a novice when it comes to writing BDSM. The first thing that comes to my mind when I consider the word “dominance” is forcible submission. Not the sort you might think of when it pertains to BDSM, but the dominance you feel when you’ve manipulated your opponent into a spot where they have to submit, or pay the penalty. The kind of submission you get out of close-contact sports like wrestling and jiu jitsu, that’s the sort of thing I know front to back. Translating that into a BDSM setting, focusing on the purely physical, would have been easy for me.

 

That’s part of why I didn’t do it. The physical stuff is interesting, and can be integral to the whole, but the heart of the relationship that Caitlin and I wrote between Lucy and Danny in Camellia is a mental game. It’s a chess match, each half surveying the board and making their moves with cautious excitement, not striding onto the mat and fighting it out. Sometimes the best response is physical; other times, Lucy dominates Danny with nothing more than a few words and a gesture. Making myself stretch to write a dominant who asks for submission, who makes her submissive want to give it to her easily, was a delightful challenge. I have the feeling it’s just going to get harder, and better, the deeper I go with this couple.

Lucybanner

Caitlin

I enjoy writing BDSM and Camellia wasn’t the first time I’d tackled the idea of two people falling in love with a bit of kink, but it was the first time I’d attempted to write this kind of story with two women involved. For dominant characters I want them strong but they still need to be human with understandable motives and accessible emotions.

That’s what I think of when I hear the word “dominance” and apply it to a person. Too often people hear BDSM and picture abusive scenes or have no idea at all. With the popularity of these books on the rise it’s important to have healthy relationships available to be read and I’m proud to say that’s what we were able to accomplish here. Lucy is a dominant person and she expects certain things both in her professional life and also in her private one. Danny makes a beautiful submissive because she naturally takes to that role with Lucy and still retains who she is.

The characters never compromise themselves for each other and I think that’s the most important thing about a dominant person- that they can bring something out of the other person in a safe way without them feeling like they’ve lost something of themselves in the process. Dominance and submission don’t have to be scary concepts and they can work as easily in life as they do in a book. All it takes is open communication, trust, and enough knowledge about yourself to know what is safe and comfortable for you.

 

Cari Bio:

I’ve been publishing erotica for a few years now, writing it for longer and am fortunately back in the US of A now, where I can work on being consistent instead of blaming my laziness on Togo. I’m in my late twenties, married to a very understanding man who came with me to this brave new world, and I love erotica, specifically m/m, but I write more broadly than that. Questions, comments, gentle taps with the “get your ass to work!” stick…my email is carizabeth@hotmail.com. You can find my free stuff at Literotica.com under the name Carizabeth.

 

Caitlin Bio:

Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. If she isn’t writing, she can usually be found studying as she works toward her counseling degree. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful fiance and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

 

 

camellia400Danny doesn’t expect much to come from the interview she has lined up through her modelling agency, who told her only that it involved tea and a kink convention. She thinks it won’t be much more than wearing some strange outfit, sitting around, and getting easy money that she desperately needs.

 

What she gets instead is Lucy, a formidable woman in riding boots and a corset, who makes Danny want to please her without saying a word. By the end of the interview, Danny is convinced that her new job isn’t going to be anywhere near as easy as she first believed. Can Danny make the woman determined to keep her at the end of her riding crop let her into her heart as well as her bed?

 

Buy Link:

http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=90&products_id=598

 

Don’t forget to join in the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia and check out all the awesome posts! Mine (Adrian) is here. And Caitlin’s post is here!

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Brownie Points by Kelly Collins #authorcorner

 

Title: Brownie Points
Author: Kelly Collins
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publication Date: May 9, 2014
Tour Host: Dreams Come True Promotions

 

Fate has dealt Emma a tough hand. Her mother was violently ripped from her life at twelve years old. Since that day, she’s been on her own. With an absentee father, and no other family to turn to, Emma finds a way to take care of herself. She opens an escort service; it’s the perfect way to use her best assets.
Life remains simple but lonely. She doesn’t do relationships. In her line of work, it’s risky. As an escort you don’t mix business with pleasure, it’s a conflict of interest. That was always the rule—until Anthony.
As one of the new owners of Ahz, Anthony is a hot commodity. A once confirmed bachelor, Anthony’s tune has changed ten-fold since Emma came into his life. She’s the one, and he’ll do anything for her as he proved their first night together.
Their relationship races forward at breakneck speed. All the while, Emma, guards herself so that her heart is never at risk.
She now finds herself in a new line of work, beside Anthony as the voice of Los Angeles’ hottest nightclub. While Anthony is away on business, several challenges emerge that have the potential to destroy their love––their lives.
When it comes to brownie points can you ever collect enough to erase the past?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelly Collins lives in Colorado with her husband James. She’s the proud mother of three young adults that still manage to keep her on her toes and her head spinning. They are her greatest accomplishment.

As a military wife, Kelly has traveled the world like a rock star on tour. This has given her the amazing ability to unpack an entire household in three days—another crowning achievement!

Over her life, she has been a jack-of-all-trades between Dental assisting, teaching, and running her home staging business until finally, one day, she decided to do something she was meant to do. She wrote. And she hasn’t stopped since.

Armed with a glass of wine and her laptop, Kelly loves nothing more than to create a world that any woman would want to live in.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkelleycollins

Twitter:@kcollinsauthor

Author Website: http://authorkcollins.wix.com/bestseller

Author GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/7488895.Kelley_Collins_Maestas

Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/kelleymaestas

Available May 9th!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Updates from the Beyond

Yes, I have noticed that I haven’t been around in the last few weeks. It’s honestly because I’ve been so busy, and not busy with fun stuff. My blog posts for my author’s corner have dwindled the past three weeks, all failing to be given to me and thus not shared with you. I’ve been traveling a great amount and thus unable to write or post for WIPpet Wednesdays, something I sorely miss. I could probably manage to post, but no way would I be able to manage to actually read my fellow WIPeteer posts, and thus I don’t feel comfortable posting without being able to reciprocate.

So here’s a bit of what’s been going on.

1. I’m looking for people to fill spots for the rest of the year on my blog for Author’s Corner. Right now, I’m only looking for LGBT authors or authors who write LGBT (or both, if someone happens to fall into both of those categories like me). I have a post up and coming next week from James Crawford, and I sincerely hope it actually happens.

2. I’m recently engaged!! Which is crazy exciting, but now think about the fact that we chose a wedding date six months out. Wow…so much planning. And I really hate planning. So now that most of the big things are planned, I can finally start to relax a bit. Also, I’m graduating with my Master’s degree in May, so I’ve been planning for that as well.

3. I have two books of my own that need to be edited, and I thought I would finish at least the first edit on Ashes Fall before I had to start on the final edit of For by Grace. I was wrong. For by Grace comes out June 1st and I really need to get the final edits to my publisher. Sadly, Ashes Fall is once again taking the back seat. These two books are coming out this year, along with a third that I co-wrote. I need to get kicking on writing in order to have anything coming out next year.

4. Due to the desperate need for money, I took on an editing job. Which will be awesome! I’m also searching for a part-time to full-time job in retail, because apparently I think there are more hours in the day than there actually are. This editing job is amazing though. It’s for debut author Tammy Morea and is a YA novel. I can’t wait until she publishes it for you all.

5. I’m still chugging along in school and my other job that doesn’t actually pay anything but gas money.

So this be my life for the past three weeks which I haven’t posted here. No interesting reads as of yet, though I did get started on Kristen Duvall’s Femme Du Chaos which is a great read so far! Wish I’d finished it before life got in the way again. Hope to see you all soon! Maybe Wednesday with a WIPpet post!

My Editing Schedule

Mar 24 – Ch 0, 1 (FbG) Ch 1, 2 (August Moon, TM)
Mar 25 – Ch 2, 3, 4 (FbG) Ch 3, 4 (August Moon, TM)
Mar 26 – Ch 5 (FbG) Ch 5 (August Moon, TM)
Mar 27 – Ch 6, 7 (FbG) Ch 6 (August Moon, TM)

Mar 30 – Ch 8, 9 (FbG) Ch 7, 8, 9 (August Moon, TM)
Mar 31 – Ch 10, 11, 12 (FbG) Ch 10, 11 (August Moon, TM)
Apr 01 – Ch 14, 15 (FbG) Ch 12 (August Moon, TM)
Apr 02 – Ch 13, 14 (August Moon, TM)
Apr 03 – Ch 15 (August Moon, TM)

Here’s to really hoping I’m able to stick to this editing schedule, and yes, I realize how ambitious I am. Either way, in the next three weeks, both these novels will be edited!

#authorcorner Dominica Malcolm!

It is a great honor and privilege to interview Dominica Malcolm today!! I can’t wait to share what we talked about!

Tell us about yourself.

Bio: Dominica Malcolm is the author of Adrift, a speculative fiction novel that follows pirate Jaclyn Rousseau in the 17th and 21st centuries. As with her novel, her writing tends towards pirates and/or mermaids, though she also writes dystopias. She’s been published in 4 anthologies, with a couple more on the way: Fae Fatales: A Fantasy Noir Anthology by Solarwyrm Press, Idol Meanderings, Horrors of History and Happily Never After (coming soon) by Fey Publishing, and an indie anthology Harvest Moon. She’s also in the process of releasing an anthology she edited herself, Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction.

 

Though born in Western Australia, Dominica holds citizenship in both Australia and the USA, and currently lives in Malaysia with her husband and two children. She travels a lot, having been to over 30 countries in 6 continents around the world, which inspires some of her writing. She has a Bachelor of Science in Internet Computing, and a Graduate Diploma in Media Production. Checking out her web site (http://dominica.malcolm.id.au) will lead you to music videos and short films she’s worked on, as well as sample stand-up comedy, artwork, and writing.

 

Seems like you get around and do a lot! But what is one thing not in your bio, something totally random that only a few people know?

When I got married in Australia, the furthest someone travelled to attend my wedding was basically the other end of the globe – from Toronto, Canada, to Perth, Australia. I also had three friends fly from the other side of the country to see me get married.

 

Wow!! Onto writing. =P What made you decide to write? If it even was a decision. And what kept you at it?

I think most writers seem to have a story about how they used to write stories from a young age, don’t they? I’m no different than that, though my creativity didn’t stop with story writing. In primary school, I wrote plays and performed them with other kids, took classes in modelling and then taught catwalk modelling to other kids, and even choreographed my own dance for “Just Around the Riverbend” from Disney’s Pocahontas.

 

So my point is that I don’t just focus on writing, though when I do write, it’s generally what I’m focused to work on at any given time. In the last decade that’s been anything from screenplays and a one-act play, to stand-up comedy, to blogging, creative non-fiction, and finally fiction. I write because I have something to say. These days what I want to say tends to be that storytelling is just as good with a diverse cast of characters, and so I focus on character-driven stories with that in mind. You’ll usually find racially and/or sexuality diverse characters in my stories because those are the types of people I’m most exposed to in my own life. Even when I blog, one of the topics I bring up a lot is diversity in the media.1056694_10153832420855204_2041546874_n

 

Who has been your biggest inspiration and support in writing and in publishing? Doesn’t have to be an author or anything, and yes, it can be your mom or dad.

I don’t know that I could pick just one person who has been the “biggest” inspiration and support, because it changed over time. I’d say the person who was my inspiration to really make the switch to speculative fiction was a friend who writes under the name Joey Michaels. I wanted to be able to write like he does, and then asked myself, “Well, what’s stopping me?” But then when it came to writing my novel, the support I got came mostly from my editor, Jeremiah Murphy, and my husband. They were always the first two people to read my chapters and give me feedback, and then my husband helped me with the practical side of publishing, whilst Jeremiah fixed up all the nitty gritty punctuation, grammar, and typo kinds of errors in my manuscript.

 

Why is it that you are an independent author? What prompted the decision to publish with a small press publisher, and how has that experience been?

I’ve often had an attitude of “do it myself as much as possible” because I’ve found it hard to find people who I can rely on to get things done when I want them to. I think this in turn fostered an attitude for me to have a clear vision about what I want to achieve, and whilst I can take feedback from people and adapt if something isn’t working for my early readers, I’m not really comfortable feeling like I’m forced to do something that might disrupt what I was trying to achieve.

 

I’ve enjoyed the experience so far. I might not be anywhere near as widely-read as a traditionally published author, but I am being read and people—strangers included—generally seem to be enjoying what I’m putting out there. I’ve also enjoyed connecting with people, and finding other indie authors whose writing I can enjoy too.

 

Tell us a bit about editing anthologies and what it’s like to get them together and the talent you find.

Well, Amok is the only anthology I’ve worked on as an editor so far, but I can say it’s been a very rewarding experience for me, finding writers from all over the world who are writing the sorts of stories I like to read. Reading all the submissions was the easy part. There were a lot of great stories to choose from, but when it comes down to the selection process, some stories just fit my vision better than others. I think that was the most important thing for me, and it was good that I knew what I wanted to accomplish in this collection.

 

My personal vision was one of great diversity. How that came about is because I’ve been blogging for a while about wanting to see more diverse characters in the media I consume, and I thought what I really needed to do was be a part of that change and provide access to the types of stories that represented what I felt was lacking. Focusing on the Asia-Pacific region helped but was not in and of itself responsible for diversity. Probably my most common reason for rejecting something was because the story focused on a white male protagonist. Now, I’m not saying I rejected all of those stories, because there were some that were too compelling to reject, and/or still included some diversity, but I couldn’t choose too many of them when I also wanted to provide a portal to other cultures that are less represented.

 

Some of the stories I selected have a good range of diversity. For example, one of the reasons I enjoyed “Bright Student” by Terence Toh was because he showed the interracial friendships and relationships that occur in Malaysia. It’s not the only reason I chose it, of course, but it was an influencing factor. Some of the other stories don’t have as much racial diversity, but that didn’t matter, as long as the collection as a whole did. That also meant that competition between stories set in some countries like Australia and Malaysia, which had the highest number of submissions, was higher than others. But the quality of those stories were also very good, so they also have the most stories in the anthology.

 

In the end I was able to include most of the settings that I received, with a total of 15 (Australia, China, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Pacific Ocean, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam). I was, however, a little disappointed in the lack of submissions with LGBT characters. And one I had received (and accepted) that filled that role, I hadn’t even realised did at the time of acceptance. That was the major reason I wrote something myself to include in the collection, because I wanted a little more LGBT representation.

 

If you could meet one character in real life from you novel Adrift—and yes, I know this is a hard question—who would it be and why?

Haha, actually this is pretty easy, I think. I’d pick Turtle, my African character, who just seems to have turned out to be a great person, despite his harsh background – a former slave turned pirate. He taught my protagonist a lot, and I think if I met him in real life, he’d teach me a lot more about the realities of life for him in ways non-fiction books wouldn’t be able to achieve. That’d be great to know if I ever get around to writing a sequel!

 

What do you do when you get stuck in your writing? What happens when that nasty writer’s block sets down and refuses to budge—if you believe in writer’s block that is?

I don’t know that I believe in writer’s block as such, because there were times when I was working on Adrift where I just wasn’t feeling it but would force myself to sit down and get it done. The thing that has actually been debilitating for my writing the past few months has been depression and anxiety, but now that I seem to have gotten that under control, I’ve actually been able to finish my first short story in a long time (the one for Amok). So I guess what I do when I am blocked like that is deal with my mental and emotional health in whatever way is needed for the situation. Sometimes that means spending time with friends, or watching a movie, or focusing on another of my creative pursuits.

 

What is your editing process? Editing seems to be the bane of a lot of author’s existence, so how do you edit and stay on track?

I generally can’t edit my work without feedback from other people, because I’m too close to the story to see where it’s lacking. I’ve been very lucky to have a number of people available and willing to provide that for me, because in the end it means I have a better story for people to read.

 

Another thing that has helped is setting self-imposed deadlines. That was the only way I managed to get back to editing my novel for the final time. I’d set it aside for months, despite having had a heap of feedback to delve into. Part of it was a crippling fear that I wouldn’t like the story any more once I re-read it, because of some of the harsher comments. But in the end I wanted to release it before I turned 30, so I looked at my plans for the rest of the year and figured out when would be the best time for me to release it (International Talk Like a Pirate Day, of course!) and worked backwards from there, knowing I also needed to factor in my editor going over everything with a fine-toothed comb himself.

 

I also tend to edit as I write. I know a lot of people say don’t do that because you’ll never finish the story if you’re always editing it, but I’d rather finish something as close to done as I can. Usually when I’d finish a chapter of my novel, I’d send it off for feedback, and edit before moving on to the next chapter.

 

A follow up question, what’s the difference between editing your own work and editing other author’s works? How is the process different?

I can usually be more impartial when it comes to someone else’s story, but providing feedback to people, you still have to be sensitive to how they might respond, and what works best in order to get them to listen to you. When it came to the stories in Amok, I didn’t do much more than copy-editing, because I didn’t have the time to give advice or offer suggestions, and so I chose stories that worked well as they were when they were submitted. There was only one story that was edited after I asked if the author wanted to clarify something better for readers, but I didn’t have a problem with it being vague if that was what had been intended.

 

Would you mind sharing some of your ups and some of your downs about writing and about publishing? Any advice to new and upcoming authors?

Hmm… well, of course, seeing my novel in my hands for the first time was a huge high! The realisation that it was done, and the cover turned out well, and the typesetting looked good. Actually a lot of people complimented me for my typesetting job in that book, and maybe that seems like such a small thing, but it made me feel really good because I’d spent so much time trying to get it just right and easy on the eyes. What it said was “This looks professional.” And considering I’ve seen people bemoan a certain subset of self-published authors who don’t bother to make their books look professional, it meant a lot to me that people didn’t put me in that category.

 

I guess the downs have come mainly from me not being a great marketer, and maybe having higher expectations than I should have had with how many people I sent review copies to who never followed through to write a review. I have no idea if they even read the book, and I’m not very good at following up with people with that sort of thing. Part of that is just because I haven’t been the most reliable reviewer of other indie authors myself, and so I feel like there’s some level of understanding that they’re probably just busy with other things.

 

I feel like the best response I got in terms of marketing was through the Goodreads giveaway program. I’ve seen some authors bemoan this, saying that the winners just sell the books instead of reading and reviewing them, so maybe I got lucky, but I gave away 3 books and got 3 reviews out of it. I don’t even mind the two-star one because that just shows my book isn’t for everyone. It also seemed to generate a heck of a lot of to-read labels. I don’t know what effect that has had on other readers, but it at least makes it look like there’s a lot of interest. My other piece of Goodreads-related advice is to make sure you put them on appropriate lists. Having Adrift on lists for things like female pirates and lesbian pirates was definitely responsible for some of my readership, and since they’re short lists, they’re fairly easy for people to go through and find what they’re interested in. I’m doubtful that lists with more books would make yours easier to find because they’d be too overwhelming.

 

Here’s a more serious question. What is it like to write in the LGBT realm of craziness that we all support? What’s it like to dip the toe into the rainbow through writing and publishing?

I’m not sure dipping my toe in is the best way to describe how I include LGBT characters, since they’re generally my protagonists! I think all of the fiction I’ve written in the last couple of years has included at least one LGBT character, but I don’t see myself as a writer of LGBT fiction, and my reason for that is because I don’t think LGBT fiction should be separated from mainstream fiction. I think that alienates a subset of the audience who might enjoy the work. It’s like the label limits the audience to readers who identify as LGBT themselves, because they’re the ones who are going to be more likely to go out there and search for fiction that fits that description. But I’d rather open up my writing to be exposed to people of any background, and especially those who aren’t LGBT, so those characters can be seen as just as normal as any straight character.

 

But, first and foremost, I write for myself, and not seeing such characters represented often in the media I consumed growing up and beyond is, I feel, one of the reasons I found it so hard to come out as bisexual myself, as well as accepting that I was. I’d honestly only seen myself as straight because I thought that was the only option on the table. This was despite an obvious attraction to other girls before I understood what that was.

 

What is your best memory from the whole writing and publishing process?

I don’t know if this is necessarily the “best,” but it was certainly memorable. I spend a lot of my social life with the local comedians in Malaysia because the stand-up scene here is fairly small and easy to get into. Even when I hadn’t been performing for a few years (I didn’t perform at all between March 2010 and September last year), I’d go watch some shows and hang out with them. Since I wasn’t performing, everyone basically knew me as a writer, and seemed excited about my book being in print. Then, after one show, which was headlined by a visiting Singaporean comedian, just before the official release of my book, I happened to have a copy on me. I think someone must have mentioned the book to the Singaporean, or maybe she randomly asked me what I do and I brought it up, but after only a couple sentences exchanged between us, she bought it from me. That was a big week of feeling elated, and the confidence I felt from how I was selling copies definitely contributed to my being able to get back up on stage doing stand-up comedy again the following week—the actual week my book was released.

 

QUICKIES!

1. Dog or Cat? Cat
2. Favorite color? purple
3. Favorite junk food? Mint Slice biscuits (they’re Australian)
4. Favorite musician? I don’t really have a favourite, but I’ll give a shout out to Malaysian composer Onn San. His Epomania album is amazing and everyone should check it out.
5. Favorite curse word? Is douchebag considered a curse word? It’s one of my favourite insults to use against men who annoy me, though I don’t think I ever say it to anyone’s face!
6. Favorite quote? I don’t think I have one!
7. Rolaids or Tums? I have no idea what they are.
8. Short or Tall? Short
9. Favorite body part? Hair
10. Favorite holiday? Maybe Lunar New Year (it’s a holiday where I live!)

Books

I1903554_10153832419200204_1621426844_nt’s the 21st century, and Jaclyn Rousseau is not where she should be. 1661 disappeared before her eyes, and there’s no way home. That matters not to Jaclyn—she lost her lover, and everything else that meant anything to her, in the West Indies.

In an adventure that crosses time and the Atlantic, a murderous pirate must find a place for herself in this new world.

Can she escape her past, or will it catch up with her?

 

Buy links:

All of my buy links for Adrift can be found here: http://dominica.malcolm.id.au/writing/adrift/

Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction is not yet available but I’ll be selling pre-orders through crowdfunding site Indiegogo soon.

social media

Website: http://dominica.malcolm.id.au

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DominicaMalcolm

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dommalcolm

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/DominicaMalcolm

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/dommalcolm

The Love that Dare Not Write Its Name? #authorcorner Tom Williams

I’m so excited for this guest post today! It’s something that I’ve thought about multiple times, and I would like to add in one aspect that Tom does not mention. I think the scenario is slightly different for f/f books. Please read and comment on this fabulous post about the publishing industry and what it means to place your book into the LGBT category.

THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT WRITE ITS NAME?

When I was growing up, homosexuality was illegal. Most of the books discussed on this blog would have been considered obscene and publishing or owning them might well have exposed people to criminal action. Interestingly, some commentators consider that it is a passing reference to (heterosexual) sodomy in Lady Chatterley’s Lover that was one of the reasons for its prosecution.

Now, of course, we live in a more liberal and enlightened age. Anybody who wants to read about homosexual relationships will have no problems in finding books that cater for their interests. But I do wonder if we have, perhaps, not taken advantage of the hard-won freedoms of the gay community to make a more liberal publishing environment, but, rather, built a gay ghetto which is, in its way, as restrictive as anything that may have preceded it.

When I set out to write my first novel, The White Rajah, I was not planning to write a “gay book”. I was writing about real historical character, James Brooke, the eponymous White Rajah. I think there is little doubt that he was inclined toward his own sex, though it’s not clear, in those days, whether he had an active sex life. I wanted the reader to be able to see Brooke through the eyes of someone who travels with him and shares his adventures. I therefore invented a lover for him, and it is John Williamson who tells his story.

As I wrote, the relationship between John Williamson and James Brooke became more important to the novel than I had Tom portraitexpected, and I ended up with what I thought of as quite a powerful love story at the heart of what is, in the end, an otherwise straightforward historical novel.

Against all the odds, The White Rajah was represented by a very reputable agent who pitched it to four leading publishers. All of them rejected it. The consensus seemed to be that it was “too difficult” for a first novel by an unknown writer. Now that could be that, being a first novel, it just wasn’t that well-written. As it’s a first person account by a mid-19th century writer, it certainly uses longer sentences and a more challenging vocabulary than a lot of modern novels. But I couldn’t help feeling that part of the problem was that there is a distinct absence of female characters but there’s still sex.

I decided that I would like to see the book published before my dotage, so I sent it to JMS Books, who specialise in LGBT titles. They took it straight away, for which I remain very grateful. The trouble is that it is now seen as an LGBT book. Unfortunately it fails to satisfy a lot of LGBT readers, who complain that it does not have enough explicit sex scenes in it. Straight readers, on the other hand, seem much more interested in the sexual orientation of James Brooke than in any of his quite significant historical achievements.

What nobody seems happy with is the idea that you can write about somebody who has adventures, achieves quite remarkable things in his life, and has a satisfying romantic relationship, but who just happens to be gay. For both straight and gay readers, the sexual orientation of the main character becomes the point of the book.

I find this quite remarkable. Living in 21st-century London, I accept that I will have friends and colleagues with a diversity of sexual orientations. My favourite comedy club was a gay comedy club, but that didn’t mean that the audience was exclusively homosexual or that the jokes all related to gender issues. I like drinking in a gay bar, because the ambience is more civilised than a lot of other bars and they sell the drinks I enjoy. When I first went in there, I was worried that I might not be welcome, but they are as happy to serve straights as gays and it’s simply a very successful town-centre watering hole. If I’m out dancing, some couples embracing on the dance floor will not be the conventional male-female pairing. I was talking to a gay friend about this and he said that a few years ago straight men would be uncomfortable dancing with other men, but this has become so normal that it is no longer an issue for most people.

It goes without saying that, particularly as I used to work in a “creative” industry, many of my colleagues were gay, although the business was a very mainstream publisher.

So when I work, drink, or socialise the sexual orientation of the people I am working, drinking, laughing or dancing with does not define what I am doing. Yet when I am reading, it seems that it does. I am either reading a “gay book” for gay people, which has to emphasise gay sexual behaviour or I am reading a “straight book” (or “book”) where everyone seems much happier if nobody is gay at all. (Often there’s a minor character who’s gay, so everyone else can demonstrate how liberal they are.) The distinction is particularly ironic as many of the writers of M/M fiction are heterosexual women, as are many of its readers.

It’s not just my personal paranoia. I was delighted when Foyles (one of London’s most prestigious bookshops) stocked my titles, but I was surprised to see that they were shelved in a department dedicated to GLBT literature.

Obviously, it’s a good thing that, after centuries of repression, gay people can write and read books that cater for them. A gay press was an essential part of the battle for equality. But is it still the best way forward? Or have gay readers and writers created a ghetto that is itself discriminatory and a sort of repression, all the more damaging for being self-inflicted?

Books

Book coverInvalided out of the East India Company’s army, James Brooke looks for adventure in the South China Seas. When the Sultan of Borneo asks him to help suppress a rebellion, Brooke joins the war to improve his chances of successful trading. Instead, he finds himself rewarded with his own country.

Determined to be an enlightened ruler who brings peace and prosperity to his people, James settles with his lover in their new Eden. But piracy, racial conflict and court plotting conspire to destroy all that he has achieved. Driven from his home and a fugitive in the land that he had once ruled, James is forced to take extreme measures to drive out his enemies.

‘The White Rajah’ is the story of a man fighting for his life, who has to choose between his beliefs and the chance of victory. Based on a true story, Brooke’s battle is a tale of adventure set against the background of a jungle world of extraordinary beauty and terrible savagery. Told through the eyes of the man who loves him and shares his dream, this is a tale of love and loss from a 19th century world that still speaks directly to us today.

BUY HERE UK

BUY HERE US

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Cawnpore_400x600

After his time in Borneo with James Brooke (The White Rajah), John Williamson has travelled to India. Working for the East India Company in Cawnpore, he struggles to fit in: a gay man in a straight society; a farm labourer’s son in a world of gentleman’s clubs and refined dinner parties; a European adrift in an alien land. But he finds he is good at his job, overseeing a colonial administration that has been running the country for a hundred years. He falls in love with the country and, in particular, with a young nobleman in the court of the local lord. Successful at work and happy with his lover, he thinks he can finally meet life on his own terms. Then the Indian troops rise in mutiny and the country is plunged into war. With the British Raj teetering on the edge of destruction and Cawnpore a by-word for horror across the Empire, Williamson has to choose whose side he is really on.

In this sequel to The White Rajah, we again see Williamson caught up in real historical events, which provide a thrilling background to his own story. Williamson meets some of the key figures at a crucial point in British history and witnesses events which shocked the world and shaped the future of British India.

BUY HERE UK

BUY HERE US

About the Author

Have you ever noticed how many authors are described as ‘reclusive’? I have a lot of sympathy for them. My feeling is that authors generally like to hide at home with their laptops or their quill pens and write stuff. If they enjoyed being in the public eye, they’d be stand-up comics or pop stars.

Nowadays, though, writers are told that their audiences want to be able to relate to them as people. I’m not entirely sure about that. If you knew me, you might not want to relate to me at all. But here in hyperspace I apparently have to tell you that I’m young and good looking and live somewhere exciting with a beautiful partner, a son who is a brain surgeon and a daughter who is a swimwear model. Then you’ll buy my book.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite true. I’m older than you can possibly imagine. (Certainly older than I ever imagined until I suddenly woke up and realised that age had snuck up on me.) I live in Richmond, which is nice and on the outskirts of London which is a truly amazing city to live in. My wife is beautiful but, more importantly, she’s a lawyer, which is handy because a household with a writer in it always needs someone who can earn decent money. My son has left home and we never got round to the daughter.

I street skate and ski and can dance a mean Argentine tango. Mostly, though, I spend my time being reclusive. Can I go back to that now?

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#authorcorner with V.C.!!

Today I’m excited to say that V.C. is joining us! I met V.C. on one of the many facebook groups that I’m a part of and through facebook pages. I couldn’t be happier that she decided to join us today.

Tell us about yourself.

I’ll just share my author bio since it’s most convenient and to-the-point:180917_608094995814_5594213_n

V.C. writes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans* romance/erotica fiction that she affectionately calls glitterotica. Her writing career started in high school where she gained a reputation for her historical short stories, even having been given a couple of gold key awards from Scholastic Inc. She got her start writing erotica during college. After having numerous short erotica stories published on Oysters&Chocolate.com, she has since had various erotic shorts published in anthologies and has written six novels so far, and counting. She’s been published by O&C Press, Ravenous Romance, Freaky Fountain, Cleis Press, Go Deeper Press, and Storm Moon Press.

When she’s not writing, V.C. enjoys reading literature, watching classic movies, studying French (and occasionally Icelandic), going to concerts, museums, and drag shows, and simply taking each day as it comes and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. She currently lives in New Jersey.

What is one thing not in your bio, something totally random that only a few people know?

That I am intersex. Not too many people would know this about me because the term “intersex” (meaning that someone was born with both male and female genitalia) leaves people confused because it’s not openly talked about and is still a baby term that hasn’t yet made a big mark on our culture yet. Like, it’s not a household name or anything where people, when they hear it, would go, “Oh, I know what that means.” I wish that were the case because then it would make things less awkward and annoying for me especially when dating and sex is concerned.

Once in a while it hits the radar in the media (like when it was reported that Germany now has a third-gender law for infants born with “ambiguous genitalia”) but I think people still don’t understand what “intersex” is and what it is like growing up and being an intersex individual. Plus, people wouldn’t know this about me because I don’t go around letting everyone know that my body is different from the average female. However, it is something that I’m not afraid to let be known when the opportunity calls for it, which I feel fine and comfortable doing in author interviews. It’s part of who I am as a person and in some ways has shaped me into the LGBT author that I’ve become.

Wow, very interesting. I’ll definitely be keeping that in mind for a while and seeing how we would do things different if intersex were a more common term. But back to writing, what made you decide to write? If it even was a decision. And what kept you at it?

It wasn’t a decision for me. When you are passionate about something, it’s just something that you do, and the “keeping at it” part is something you just do naturally. There’s no other way for me to explain it. I do what I love and what turns me on, and it’s the love and turn-on that keeps me focused on it.

Who has been your biggest inspiration and support in writing and in publishing?

I’d say my teachers during middle school and high school. I don’t want to mention names; I’d rather keep that to myself and their identities private. Many of them time and time again would comment about how I should look into getting published. Some of them even went out of their way to get me published in the school paper. One of them (a drama teacher) had one of my plays for a class project get turned into a stage production that actually got to be on a stage for people to watch and enjoy. They saw my potential in ways that at the time, being so young and all, I just didn’t see. I was only doing what I enjoyed doing on my free time. It was just a hobby then. Now, not so much ;).

That’s great! Why is it that you are an independent author? What prompted the decision to publish with a small press publisher, and how has that experience been?

imagesI never really put much thought as to “why” I am an “independent” author. I guess I am an independent author because I like being an independent person? I don’t know, hehe, I only see myself as just an author. I send my short stories and novel manuscripts to publishers that intrigue me based on their unique anthology calls or because they publish work that I would (or have) actually read myself. They just so happened to be a small press/independent publisher. It doesn’t matter to me if a publisher is independent/small or mainstream.

Not all publishers are created equal of course, but in my mind, be it a small or big publisher, they are the same. Just different in their own way. It’s just a pleasure working with publishers that I admire and respect like oysters&chocolate.com and Freaky Fountain, both who are sadly defunct, Go Deeper Press, Cleis Press, and Storm Moon Press. My experiences with these publishers have been eye-openers in many ways because each press was different and unique in their editing and promotion process. Not entirely perfect experiences, I’ll admit, but even in their imperfections they are absolutely fabulous to work with, and I’m happy to be an author for all of them.

What has been your experience going from short stories and publishing with anthologies, to your first novel and publishing a full-length work?

Oh, it’s just a fun and wild ride. There’s one other thing that not many know about me: I get bored very easily. Not bored as in “Oh, I have nothing to do, I am bored,” but “If I don’t do a variety of things outside of just writing short stories or writing just novels, I’ll be bored out of my mind.”  This variety is what makes the whole experience of going from short stories to full-length works more exciting for me and keeps me from that restlessly bored feeling.

I love the challenge of writing a story in its short-form, but I also enjoy the commitment of being in a relationship, so to speak, with a 50K-100K manuscript for two months before I try and find it a new home. I write these short stories/novels based on the mood I am in. Sometimes I am in the mood to write novels, sometimes I’d rather just write short stories and send them to anthology calls.  I’m still learning to master the art of both forms of storytelling, and that’s really the best part of the experience of going from short stories to a full-length work: the learning process.

Speaking of full-length work, The Man on Top of the World will be your first full-length novel, if I understand correctly, tell us a bit about what goes on in the story.

On the surface it’s a rock and roll love triangle. It takes place during the 1970s glam rock era (think T. Rex, David Bowie, Roxie Music, Lou Reed, and Suzie Quatro). The love triangle in The Man on Top of the World is between a glam rock drummer boy (Jonathan Maxwell, the narrator of the story), the glam rock superstar that he works for and can’t help but fall foolishly in love with (Izzy Rich), and the glam rock groupie (Roxanne Foster, Izzy’s fan girl) who comes between them. The love triangle aside though, in the core of it, The Man on Top of the World is a love story between two passionate, beautiful, and flawed men who, for better and for worse, are meant to be together as the best of mates and as lovers.

You put images and sounds to your characters in The Man on Top of the World when doing character sketches. How is this helpful for you?

This is more helpful for the reader than it is for me. The images and sounds are all in my head. After the manuscript was finished, that was when I decided on doing the character profiles for Izzy, Jonathan, and Roxanne, which then prompted me to search for pictures and video clips that comes as close to those images/sounds in my head as possible.  I do the character profiles for my readers because it’s just a fun way for them to get to know the characters before they get their hands on the book. I’d hope that from those character profiles, and from all the images and sounds I put into them, that it would have the reader feel like they already know (and hopefully identity with) the characters before reading The Man on Top of the World.

So you did entire blog posts on three characters in The Man on Top of the World. I’m going to be mean and ask for one single sentence on each of those characters.

Jonathan Maxwell—a pansexual, drama-queen, hopeless romantic who has such ridiculously fine taste in clothes, jewelry, women, and men.

Izzy Rich—an eccentric pretty boy/egomaniac turned messiah and pariah who, despite all his fame, musical genius, and celebrity, is a tortured soul.

Roxanne Foster—a good girl who has a lot of bite and a whole lot more moxie that she’s too modest to show, offstage, anyway.

If you could meet one character in real life from The Man on Top of the World—and yes, I know this is a hard question—who would it be and why?

Without question, Izzy. I identify with him in many ways, not as the rock star, but as the man. He’s eccentric, misunderstood, and a child at heart, like me. He’s like me in many ways, but he’s far off from being me in a lot of other ways. I’m broke, he’s not, but he used to be, so he doesn’t take his fame and money for granted because of his poverty-stricken upbringing. I’d be the same if I was rich and famous. We both embrace our androgyny, but he is way more over the top and ballsy about expressing his androgyny and femininity. He’s more in touch with his feminine side than I am; he just doesn’t give a fuck, he does and wears what he wants. I can’t walk in a pair of high heels to save my life; he can because wearing high heels is his life. He can be a total asshole, but he’s one that I adore and would love to meet in real life if he were real. That would be so awesome if he was.  A girl can dream.

What has been your process through writing The Man on Top of the World, and how has it been similar or different from your normal writing process?

The Man on Top of the World was originally a short story submission for Storm Moon Press’s Glam Rock anthology call. They GDP002-FemmeFatale_30didn’t get enough submissions for the anthology to go forward, but they liked my story and felt that the word count was high enough to be turned into a short novella. From there, it evolved into a novel. So, in a way, this process of writing The Man on Top of the World has really been like watching a child grow into an adult. The short story was its baby phase, the short novella form was its teenage years, and the novel makes it all grown up. None of this was intentional. It just happened that way.

I wouldn’t say this transformation has made the writing process different. It was about the same. The only change was that I had to expand on a lot of areas in The Man on Top of the World that needed to be there, mostly because of the sequel, All That Glitters. At the time when I wrote The Man on Top of the World, I didn’t plan a sequel. All That Glitters (Izzy’s autobiography/bildungsroman) came a bit later, and I wasn’t planning on having it published in the first place, actually. I did it only as a fun side piece for my own keeping. It was when the story took off that I decided on getting it published. After that sequel got picked up by Storm Moon Press, I had to go back to The Man on Top of the World many times to make sure that some areas were consistent with the sequel. Sorry that I’m intentionally being vague about what those “things” and “areas” are. I’m a no spoilers kind of gal.

Haha! That’s perfectly fine! So, what do you do when you get stuck in your writing? What happens when that nasty writer’s block sets down and refuses to budge?

A lot of writers might hate me for saying this, or may not believe me at all, but I rarely if ever get writer’s block. I’ve had times where I started a story and didn’t finish it, but that’s only because the work wasn’t “speaking” to me and I move on to something that will. When I’m committed to a work that doesn’t just speak but screams at me, I write like the wind. I believe that writer’s block happens when the author overthinks their work way too much in the process of writing it, basically letting their mind (the part that overanalyzes things too much) interfere with the flow of creativity and imagination. I don’t let that happen. I stay calm, cool, and write when the inspiration/creativity is there. I don’t force it or overthink things during the process of writing. I don’t worry about word counts either. I just relax, write, and have fun.

Writing, at the end of the day, has to be fun to result to a finished product that I can be proud of. There’s nothing fun about writer’s block or forcing myself to write something that just isn’t speaking at the moment. To prevent that from happening, if I lose momentum and focus while writing a chapter, I just go offline and kill the potential writer’s block by having fun and living life. That’s really the best medicine to prevent writer’s block from happening in the first place. I like to destroy the problem before it manifests into this big deal. It has worked for me so far. I hate stress, and I sure as hell would hate writer’s block, which sounds like the most stressful thing for a writer to go through. What I do helps me. I hope that I’m not alone in doing this and that other writers do the same thing, for one’s health and sanity.

I actually completely agree with you. I don’t think I’ve ever had “writer’s block,” and I practice living life stress free and creatively. But enough about that. What is your editing process? Editing seems to be the bane of a lot of author’s existence, so how do you edit and stay on track?

Editing is not the bane of my existence. I think it’s the best part of the writing process because basically editing is where you are taking this ugly lump of clay, this diamond in the rough, and molding and polishing it into something better and prettier. You can’t do that while you’re actually writing; that can only be done after the work is finished and when you have something to actually work with. So with editing, it gives me that opportunity to really make my work shine. I typically go through three rounds of editing. I take a week off in between each edit round so that way when I return to the manuscript I’m editing it with a fresher pair of eyes and more refreshed state of mind. This helps me stay on track of the process.

This technique of editing—edit, take a week off, edit, take a week off, edit one more time, and take one more week off—makes the process less tedious and more fun, and it helps me to pace myself. I like rewriting areas, expanding on areas, and taking out filler/unnecessary writing that doesn’t add to the narrative. I like being given more than two chances to make my work better. Editing gives me the chance to make my work better as many times as I choose until it’s polished to the best of my ability before it is in the hands of a professional editor.  I find the whole process (self-editing and editing with a professional) exciting. As long as I keep it this way, editing for me is more fun than it is a burden.

Interesting. Would you mind sharing some of your ups and some of your downs about writing and about publishing? Any advice to new and upcoming authors?

The ups of writing and publishing is of course when you’ve created a work that you are proud of. Even better is when it finds a home with a publisher. The natural high of getting a work published, there are no words. It’s all the more thrilling, and sometimes surreal, when others enjoy your work for days, months, and who knows, maybe years to come. Most would say that the downs of writing and publishing would be getting a rejection email/letter. Yeah, that can sting a little, but I never bothered with dwelling on that negative side of publishing. I’ve had a few rejection emails, had two of my publishers go out of business, and had some not so nice comments about my work. I could have moped and vented about it, but that was far from my mind. What good would that have done? I’m not a fan of misery; I really just don’t have the time or care for it.

Every negative in book publishing can always be turned into something positive. That is, if you want it to be. I chose to look on the positive side of things and to just continue doing what I do.  The greatest thing about publishing that can’t always be said about most things in life is that a negative can always be turned into a positive. There are so many publishers out there that there’s no reason for one rejection letter to bring someone down; solution: just send out the manuscript/short story somewhere else. Publishers go out of business; don’t worry, your work will find a new home soon enough. Bad reviews/negative comments? If you’re entitled to write one and have one, so can other people. Not everyone is going to like my work. Whatever. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Live and let live; life’s too short to dwell on the negativity.

My only advice to new and upcoming authors is to not take yourself, or the publishing industry, too seriously. And don’t take anything too personal either. All the downs I mentioned above that I’ve experienced, if you go through all that too, remember, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Sometimes, the negatives and even the rejection letters/emails can be blessings in disguise, for something better could come along. All the ups of getting published—being published, selling tons of books and gaining a huge readership/fan-base—don’t let it all get to your head and make it big. Nobody wants to support the work of an egotistical/cocky author. Be heard and be successful, but stay humble. Don’t compare yourself with other authors/writers. Unless you are still in high school that kind of drama is unnecessary. No matter what ups and downs you go through with writing and getting published, just stay cool, don’t lose yourself, be classy, and most importantly, keep on writing.

Great advice! Here’s a more serious question. What is it like to write in the LGBT realm of craziness that we all support? What’s it like to dip the toe into the rainbow through writing and publishing?

Thankfully, we live in a day and age where LGBT literature, and LGBT issues as a whole, is more accepted and open for discussion and expression than it was years ago. That’s the beauty of writing in this genre for me. It opens a world of opportunities for creativity, breaking boundaries, and challenging the way people perceive the LGBT genre. It also opens a huge comfort level in discussing LGBT issues that matter. For me personally, the LGBT genre is the easiest and most fun way for me to express myself. To have people out there who are as passionate about this “LGBT realm of craziness” and who love reading/writing in this genre as much as I do—that is even more beautiful. The genre lets everyone know that no matter if you are gay, bisexual, transgender, or lesbian, nobody out there is really alone anymore. I can really only sum up the experience of writing in this genre in that one word: beautiful. Oh, and delicious. Who doesn’t want to taste the rainbow? Those who don’t just aren’t fabulous enough to enjoy it for what it is ;).

LOL! What is your best memory from the whole writing and publishing process?

My best memory was when one of my readers commented about my F/F short story, “Stella Loves Bella.” At the time it was published on oysters&chocolate.com (you can now find it in Cleis Press’s Best Lesbian Erotica 2013). This sweet reader said in the comment section that the main character in that story (“Stella”) reminded her of her girlfriend, and that the story as a whole encouraged her to work up the courage to be her girlfriend’s “Bella.” That comment made me smile. It still does five years later. I’ll never forget it.

Storm Moon Press will be publishing The Man on Top of the World when it’s ready for our eyes. I was wondering if you would be able to tell me a bit about your experience with them; I’ll actually be meeting them at Rainbow Con in April.

I’m still a fairly new writer with them, but so far, Storm Moon Press is one of the most helpful and fun publishers I’ve worked with. One of the reasons why I was attracted to this publisher is because of how they like to publish unique niches in erotica that other publishers rarely take on, like blood play, gun kink, and incest. And they’re open to publishing works that feature trans*, poly, bisexual, asexual, and intersex characters. Not that other publishers out there wouldn’t support any of that, but Storm Moon Press stands out in that they are more proud and open about publishing works that represent all that and more.

They are also very author-centric too. If you are contracted by them, they’ll allow you to re-work your manuscript before the hardcore editing process begins. With The Man on Top of the World, that was so needed since so many things had to be fixed and expanded.  I’m especially grateful and appreciative of Storm Moon Press for wanting to take “The Man on Top of the World” and have it become the novel that it is now.  They are a great press, and the founders/co-founders are especially amazing. Have fun at Rainbow Con! I hope you will adore the Storm Moon Press crew as much as I do.

I’m sure I will! I know that you do a lot of reviews on your blog and that you give a lot of promotion to other authors. What prompted you to do this?

I’ve been reviewing movies and sex toys for a professional company for years, so I guess naturally, I’d eventually take on the fun task of reviewing erotica/romance fiction too. Except independently (and for free) on my blog. I started reading/reviewing books on my blog from Storm Moon Press first. Then, last fall of 2013, I thought to myself, hmm, I’d love to read/review erotica/romance fiction from authors outside of Storm Moon Press as long as they give me a free copy of their work in exchange for an honest review from me.

I love reading/reviewing LGBT erotica/romance fiction—that was the first prompt. The second is that I do enjoy seeing what kind of talent is out there in this genre from authors I haven’t heard of. So far, it’s been a real pleasure doing that for these authors who need some more exposure and whose work deserves more attention. By doing reviews on my blog, it’s a win-win for everyone. I get to read/review a lot of free e-book copies of LGBT erotica/romance fiction. These reviews give my blog some exposure. On a few occasions, I’ve made new friends with these fellow authors. The authors get the free promotion from me, and if the review is a positive one, they could use that review to promote themselves. If my review(s) encourage readers to check out their books, then that’s the greatest win. I get immense joy out of doing book reviews on my blog, and I hope the authors and readers enjoy it too.

Why focus on the LGBT genre? What are the plusses and what are the minuses of doing so?

As an intersex woman who identifies as pansexual, I don’t think I could ever stray from this genre even if I tried. I have many friends on and offline who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. I’ve dated lesbian, bisexual, and trans* people throughout my life, still do. The issues I deal with as an intersex individual can only be understood by another intersex person or by a trans-individual (even better when I’ve found a friend who is intersex and trans. Thankfully, I have that, and she so gets me and I get her). Not that my life is all about LGBT 24/7, but it’s important and personal enough for me to dedicate much of my time on it on a regular daily basis be it through my writing, book reviewing, and watching LGBT-related films. It’s not a hobby; it’s my passion. I don’t see any minuses in focusing on that.

The pluses about the genre is that it allows me the ultimate freedom to be myself. And the genre also helps me, and others, further understand and appreciate the many ways of how we all identify and express ourselves in and outside of the genre and the dizzying number of labels that go with it. The minuses of it are not so much the negative stigma or judgment others might feel about it. Like, I don’t care about people who are turned off by it; it’s none of my business how or what they think of me and the genre I write in. There are assholes out there, that’s just life, I can only live mine. The minuses I notice are when I see that the representations of LGBT characters in the LGBT erotica/romance fiction genre aren’t varied and rely on far too many tropes, clichés, and stereotypes that don’t challenge the reader and are only giving the same ol’.  Other than that, all I see is pluses in the LGBT genre. And lots of rainbows.

QUICKIES!

1. Dog or Cat? Cat.
2. Favorite color?
Fuchsia.
3. Favorite junk food?
Chocolate chip cookies.   
4. Favorite musician?
Björk.
5. Favorite curse word?
Fuck.
6. Favorite quote?
“When the going gets tough, the tough reinvent.”—Rupaul
7. Rolaids or Tums?
Rolaids.
8. Short or Tall?
Short
9. Favorite body part?
Boobs
10. Favorite holiday?
New Year’s Eve

Books

images Best Lesbian Erotica 2013 is about the trembling pleasure of anticipation as much as the moment when sex actually happens. Curated by Lammy nominee, Kathleen Warnock, Best Lesbian Erotica 2013 is as diverse as it is delectable- unlikely pairings appear as do sizzling hot one-time encounters and well-developed characters in well-developed relationships. Lesbians meet, sometimes fall in love, have a break up or two but always have lots of intensely great sex. Raw, romantic and always unforgettable, Best Lesbian Erotica 2013 will test your erotic boundaries and take you over the edge and into a world where fantasies become reality. Lesbian literary icon Jewelle Gomez (The Gilda Stories) returns to the series she helped put at the forefront of erotica. Gomez, who selected the stories for the 1997 edition of Best Lesbian Erotica, has returned once again to pluck the jewels of the best lesbian erotica around. In the words of editor Kathleen Warnock, “expect the unexpected.” In “Cucumbers & Cream,” by Helen Sandler, a butch finds herself hosting a burlesque show…not that she minds at all!Sometimes you just want a stranger pushing you up against a fence, as in “Anonymous,” by BD Swain.When one butch with a smartphone spots another, it might be a momentous “Morning Commute” by Penny Gyokeres.

GDP002-FemmeFatale_30

In Femme Fatale, an erotic collection edited by Lana Fox, dangerous women hunt down their deepest desires with everything from guns to wordplay. From a brazen thief who seduces her marks, to the ardent lover of a serial killer, these femme fatales are smart, inventive, and hard to trick.

But as Fox reminds us, women who are viewed as dangerous often challenge society’s thinking, and in this collection, the femme fatales certainly transform the worlds they inhabit. As is always the case with Go Deeper Press, these writers excel at storytelling as much as they do at sexy scenes, so get ready to be erotically and mentally engrossed.
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Jumping in, two feet forward

I feel as though I’m completely jumping into part of the market world. I’ve signed and paid for my first ad to be placed (no, I’m not saying where or how much–maybe if it works or does work, there will be another post on that). I’ve been doing a lot of giveaways with eBooks and even a few with printed copies.

What I’ve found is this. I have no clue if my sales have increased. I should know at the start of next month. This month I got a whopping $6 on royalties. Which isn’t bad, considering it could have been $0 and the book has been out for nine months with little to no promotion! I have to say, it’s done far better than I thought it would.

But I have bigger expectations for Dying Embers. I want it to sell more, and I want it to help sell more of Forever Burn. The question that remains is just how to do that. From everything that I’ve read, discoverability of the book and of me is supposed to be far more important than sales. I supposed that’s because if people can find you, they will buy you–so the two are actually related.

In order to achieve this discoverability thing that I keep reading about, I jumped head first into a lot of giveaways. I upped the ante to try and get facebook likes as well as twitter followers. I’m ignoring sales and trying solely to be “around.” I think it might have actually worked.

Starting the second week in November, I’ve participated in about 3 or 4 giveaways as well as some other promos for other authors. It’s suggested on twitter that 5 out of ever 6 tweets for promotion should be about other people, not me. I’ve upped that, and my own promotions on twitter. I’m also still on there writing random things as I usually do.

There is a giveaway going on right now, Morgan Jane’s 2500 Likes Giveaway that I think has given me the most Facebook likes. I went from a mere 167 to well over 500 in the span of about 3 weeks. I’m still in shock over it. I’m also participating in Diane Rinella’s giveaway. For this I just did the post on the 6th as an author spotlight for her. Likewise, today I spent an hour on This Redhead LOVES Books page on Facebook doing a giveaway of Dying Embers and talking up my books. I’m also participating in a Strong Women in Fiction Giveaway that came up and I couldn’t resist it. I’ve done a guest post and provided a print copy of Forever Burn for it. Likewise, I’m also doing my own giveaway right now, for the pleasure of having achieved 500 likes on my Facebook author page.

It seems that I have jumped in with both feet into the marketing world. I was very hesitant to market at first and to take any risks. I didn’t know at all what I was doing or what I should be doing. Back in March–when Forever Burn was released–I don’t think I even really knew what a guest post was! I certainly didn’t know how to use raffelcopter. The learning curve for marketing has been steep and sharp, as well as having lots of rapids on the way. But something my mother always taught me when rafting down the river was to keep two feet forward–that way you only break your legs when you crash into something and not your head.

So, upon taking her advice, which she certainly did not intend for the writing world, I have jumped two feet forward into the waters of marketing, and I’m letting the current and rapids take me where they go. The theory remains the same. If I push my discoverability rather than sales, then the sales will come as a result of being found. The likelihood that my sales go up because more people actually know about the book seems rather logical (I think Spock would even like that answer).

So, ttfn folks, I hope you see me before I see you!

Love’s Forbidden Flower — Diane Rinella

*** Please note: This is a New Adult Romance novel involving
two siblings who struggle with their emotions. This is not a work of
erotica.***

The heart cares not what society forbids.
Lily nurtures a secret love for a flawless man—the one who is her soul mate.
Donovan is gorgeous, charismatic, and delights in all of Lily’s talents and
quirks. Their innate knowledge of each other is almost telepathic. Together
they interlock like fine threads creating luxurious silk.
But society dictates this picture-perfect adoration is the ghastliest of all
possibilities.
As Lily embarks on a quest for the romance the heavens intended, her suitor
turns reluctant. Desperate to uncover why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hiding decayed
from a tender-hearted gentleman into a ferociously self-serving, cocky bastard,
Lily is prepared for battle when it comes to the salvation of her soul mate.
However, Donovan traps Lily in a mental game of chess, leaving her to question
his sanity. When Lily’s revelations about Donovan’s destructive alter ego lead
to an inconceivable truth, can she help Donovan survive fate’s cruel joke?
Impassioned, witty, and deeply moving, Love’s Forbidden Flower is filled with
stunning controversies that will forever haunt your heart.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16181908-love-s-forbidden-flower?ac=1
Click HERE to read chapter
one of Love’s Forbidden Flower!

 

 Amazon
Smashwords 

Society’s torch only illuminates our path.
Very disturbing or somewhat intriguing? That is the question Donovan asks
himself over his soul mate’s latest idea for bedroom antics. Undecided, he
enters into a bet. If Lily wins, Donovan will become a willing participant in
an unsettling new adventure. If she loses… Well, does Donovan really want her
to lose?
Love’s Erotic Flower is an erotic, stand-alone, short story featuring the
characters from the controversial New Adult Romance novel, Love’s Forbidden
Flower. This piece is approximately 8000 words.
Warning: This title contains graphic language and raunchy sexual situations. It
is intended for those 18 years of age and older.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18217787-love-s-erotic-flower
 Amazon

 Smashwords  

An eternity of passion cannot
be quelled by society.
 

Once upon a time Donovan assured Lily all of her dreams would come true. But
how could he keep the promise of a fairy tale when her truest goals could not
involve him, though her deepest desires did? Now, Lily has it all—love,
passion, a family, and the career of her dreams—with Christopher. But something
is lacking. She and Donovan have spent the last ten years living apart, and the
soul mates are eager to reunite. Can Donovan keep his promise to give Lily all
she desires, even with Christopher in the way?


For Lily and Donovan, the past is a mirror to
the future that cannot be shattered.
 

Donovan is convinced Lily has been his love for all eternity. Determined to
unravel the past, they embark on a journey to discover where it all began. For
centuries Donovan has stolen Lily’s heart while forced to suffer for his love.
How much can a soul endure before the breaking point is reached and a monster
emerges? Can the demons of the past be combated to pave the way for happiness
in the next life? Or has the abuse suffered in this life already turned Donovan
hell bound? Time and again, one woman has destroyed their happiness. It’s time
to silence her once and for all.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17339474-time-s-forbidden-flower

The light of the alarm clock
covers my face in a soft glow while its progressing numbers remind me
that life is passing by. Finally, Christopher’s breath deepens into a
low snore. Like a paranoid ninja I slip out of bed and head down the
stairs.
Is the frigidity of the knob on
the library door brought about by the weather outside, or the
betrayal I feel stepping through this portal, knowing a letter from a
former lover awaits?
Grabbing the designated book off
of the shelf, excitement and apprehension course through my nervous
system. Hidden in the section on making gum paste lilies is a sheet
of stationary that bares an uncanny resemblance to the stationary on
which I once wrote letters to Donovan, sharing in the madness of an
alternate reality.

To My Lovely Lady,

You are, and will always be,
the force that drives and inspires me. On my brightest days, you are
the warmth that shines upon me. In the darkest nights, you provide
the voice that soothes me. Because of you I face each day knowing who
I am and the good I bring into the world. Because of you, I am whole.

Until the end of forever,

Donovan

Placing the book back on the
shelf, I head for the family room, unable to bring myself to return
to Christopher. Curling up on the sofa I turn on the TV where the A
Christmas Story
marathon continues. Quickly I change the channel,
only to return to it, and then flee again. Finally I settle on an
infomercial, staring blankly, striving to force myself into panic
over the details of the New Year’s Eve party to come. The diversion
proves to be a terrible idea. This will be the first New Year’s Eve
Donovan and I have spent together since we split. How do I move past
the impending pain of the night while finding a way to heal?

“Cannoli,” I softly mutter aloud. “I’ll switch from cream
puffs to cannoli. Maybe I should stuff the cream puffs with cannoli
filling…”

Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home
augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices
have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning
hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to
their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake
designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’
roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence
her idiosyncratic writing.

Website || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads

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Crashing into the atmosphere!

Tomorrow marks the first day of my blog tour for Dying Embers. There will be interviews, excerpts posted and spotlights all over the internet! Well, at least a small portion of the internet. I can’t tell you how excited I am for this book to come out (in both senses of that term).

Dying Embers is the prequel to Forever Burn, which came out last March. It was written with a very specific purpose in mind. Let’s get to know Addison Lee far more than we did in Forever Burn. Addison turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this series, and I just couldn’t let her go after Forever Burn happened. She even makes an appearance in Ashes Fall, the third and final of this trilogy. delg

At the beginning of this novel, Addison is a bit lost. She’s making a move to a new city, new state, new job, and away from everything that she thought had been dragging her down. She thinks that as soon as she gets to Norwich everything is going to be better. She won’t be dealing with her old job and other people who have gifts like her, and most importantly, that she won’t be dealing with her nasty ex-fiance.

Well, leaving everything behind is far harder than Addison thought it would be. After moving, her old boss and sometimes-lover, keeps calling her to ask for help. Her new job is demanding, and not only that, but she made a massive mistake before she even started.

Throughout all of the chaos, she’s falling in love and trying to find herself at the same time. Addison is almost there when tragedy strikes, and she is forced to head home to Wyoming to help out. Nothing goes quite right for Addison throughout her first few months in Norwich, and she does her best just to keep afloat. definal3d-300x300

This story was something that was on my mind as soon as I finished Forever Burn. The characters were people I wanted to be my friends, people who were so alive that I couldn’t just cut off all ties with them and move on to my next group of friends. The process of creating was something I had latched onto and couldn’t let go.

I do want to talk a bit about this writing process (and the editing process). It seems to be one of the questions I see floating around the interwebs the most. Writing and editing for every author is a completely different process, and we all go about it in a different way. I tend to write very quickly. I have the story in my head and it’s just “Go! Go! Go!” until the story is done. Editing is where I spend most of my time.

For Dying Embers, I sent it through an amazing site called Project Team Beta. Two beta readers go through each chapter and give constructive feedback. When I’m ready and after a certain amount of chapters, I am allowed to choose permanent beta readers. I have one beta reader that I always use. Her name is Amy, and she’s awesome. Amy is meticulous in finding grammatical errors, something I am eternally appreciative of. (Amy is actually the first day on the blog tour.)

After I do my first round of edits after the beta readers get it, I do a second round. Then I print everything out and put it into a notebook. Once I finish all of my chapter edits, I take the notebook and a brightly colored pen and have at it. This time, though, I start from the back and I go through each sentence individually. At this point, I’m simply looking for typos, and you’d be surprised by how many I still find. (Sometimes I think I make more typos when I edit.)

Once all of this is done, I send it to my publisher. At that point (with this particular novel), we went through two more rounds of edits. It went through an editor and then back to me. Then back to the editor, then back to me. AND THEN we finally arrive at the final copy. I guarantee as soon as I get to see the final version in print, I will still find things that I want to change. I’m never completely happy, but I can’t keep it all to myself either.

Dying Embers was an exercise in my ability to write quickly. And I’m quite pleased with the final results. I hope you enjoy it too!

Blog Tour ScheduleFinalistSM-1

Nov 20: Amy
Nov 21: Autumn
Nov 23: Kirsten
Nov 25: Sarah
Nov 26: Samantha
Nov 28: Anna
Nov 29: Sirena

Dying Embers will be released on December 1, 2013. Right now, it is available for pre-order at Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Kobo.

WIPpet Wednesday and NaNoWriMo update! November 6, 2013

Howdy!

I have goodies for you! We have a WIPpet excerpt from Fallen from Grace (the one I have been doing), and we have a NaNoWriMo update!! Because the update is quicker, we’ll start with that (don’t ask me why I’m typing in the plural…I have no clue why).

I was off to a slow start with NaNoWriMo due to work obligations, but my boyfriend is amazingly awesome. Both on Monday and Tuesday he came with me to two write-ins (the ones I host) and sat there patiently while I typed away. I managed to get up to 19842 words total! That means I’m about one day ahead of where I want to be. My goal for NaNoWriMo is 90,000 words! That’s right, 90,000 or somewhere close to when this novel should be completed. That means I have to average 3,000 words a day. It’s insane. I know.

So I’m at just about 20k words, and I’ve completed three chapters and prologue in that. The chapter titles are awesome, though I still thing the titles for For by Grace might be a bit better. I’m definitely struggling with this piece. It’s the first time I’ve done a series with an overarching story arc that expands ALL of the novels. Meaning, I have to make sure everything is explained and so and so forth.

Anyway…onto WIPpet. If you don’t know what WIPpet is, I’ll tell you. It’s an awesome little thing that a bunch of us do, where you post an excerpt from your current WIP (Work In Progress) that somehow relates to the date. If you don’t have a current WIP, then you can start a brand new one. Once you do that amazingness, you go here and link up with everyone’s WIPpets. THEN you go and read everyone’s (or as many as you can) and comment with some good stuff. We’re all comment WHORES, so make it good. =P

Today I have for you an excerpt from Fallen from Grace, which is the sequel to For by Grace AND my current NaNoWriMo novel. Here we go… My crazy math for today is this. 1 + 1 + 1 + 3 = 6 x 0 = 0 + 6 + 2 = 8 for a total of eight paragraphs from chapter two, which is aptly titled “Fight Club”

“Get out of the room!” she called to all the kids in there except the ones fighting.

Pulling out her pepper spray, Grace started to shake it as she tried to step in between the two boys. The other kids started to file out quickly, and Grace took the only chance she could get. She lifted the tab on the top of the spray can and depressed the button. A stream of white liquid squirted out and in the general direction of the boy’s faces.

Grace held her breath, waiting for the onslaught of pepper spray to hit her as well. The boys stopped fighting and rolled away from each other. Grace grabbed one of them and dragged him out of the room by the back of his shirt. He was clutching at his face in a vain attempted to get the OC spray off of him. Grace ignored him and went into the small confined room for the other one.

She pulled him out kicking and screaming and rammed him against the opposite wall of the other one. She holstered her OC can and stared at them, still waiting for the OC mist to catch up with her and affect herself. Since both of the kids had stopped fighting, Grace let out a breath.

“What the hell was that?”

“OC,” she answered. “And your name is?”

“Danny,” the blond one answered.

Grace smirked and set her hands on her hips. Danny clung to his face, trying to wipe the spray from his eyes. It would only make it worse for him in the long run, but Grace wasn’t about to inform him of that. The punishment of touching his dick after touching his face that had been covered in OC would be enough to warrant her silence and to keep him from attempting to fight in the locker room again.

 

There you have it. And thanks to the awesome and amazing K. L. Schwengel for hosting this each and every week (even when she’s traveling).

Grammar Wednesday: Word Mixups – Faze v Phase

Tricky bugger!

You can phase out of something and not have it faze you. That’s how this one works.

EXAMPLES

The star ship phased out of reality and into the third dimension.

The captain stared at the view screen, unfazed by what was happening.

Tiaras, crowns and the royal throne!

I thought that I should give you all an update on what’s going on book-wise. I’ve been posting excerpts for awhile now, but I think a succinct post on them all might be helpful.

To bring it all down to the basics, I’ve been editing a lot lately and not writing. This has got to change. I don’t know if it’s because I’m in a slump or just because I wrote so much in the past that now I have to catch up with all my editing, but it seems to be overwhelming. While I love editing for other people, I also enjoy writing. I want to find a good balance. Since NaNoWriMo is coming up, my balance is still going to be off. I’ve taken an oath to do NO editing during that month.

For specific novel updates…

Dying Embers will be released on December 1st. It’s all ready and set to go. I will have a blog tour going on for the last week in November for this. If you are interested in participating (which would be awesome since I need at least three more people), you can go here and fill out the form. I’ll send everything pretty soon. Dying Embers is the prequel to Forever Burn and looks more closely at Addison and how she got to Norwich.

For by Grace is in it’s second editing stage. I’m in theory going through that this week *snorts and giggles* It’s not actually happening though. Maybe in the next two weeks. This novel is one I’m really excited about. It’s scheduled to come out June 1, 2014 with Supposed Crimes. So excited! I just picked the cover, and I’m waiting on the final proofs for it. It’s gonna kick some ass. Likewise, during NaNoWriMo, I will be writing the sequel to this novel titled Fallen from Grace.

Ashes Fall is in the first editing stages. I’ve gotten it back from my beta’s and just need to take the time to go through it. It’s not scheduled for release until September 1, 2014, so I do have some time. My guess is that I’ll be editing it over Christmas break…you know, when I don’t have that pesky thing called school to take up all of my time.

Across Worlds: Collision is in the final, final stages. My cohort and I need to go through it one more time before it goes back to the publisher. It’ll be released, hopefully, sometime next year. This is our first erotica novel, and it’s co-written, which made it tons of fun and a great experience.

Emma’s Story, which still doesn’t have a name and I really do need to name it, is still in the process of being written. I will be taking a break from it in order to write Fallen from Grace in November. I’m hoping to have this novel done and completely edited by May of next year. I would love to be able to take it to DFWCon and perhaps meet with an agent over it. If not, I’m not going to cry. I have a publisher and I love her dearly.

 

That’s the quick and dirty update. Now to bring the title of the post in, I’ll be going to my throne room and disappearing into some much needed royal work! ttfn.

 

Grammar Wednesday: Word Mixups – Reek v Wreak

This is a rather easy one to figure out.

One can wreak havoc with things that reek. =P

Reek is a smell, nasty, but a smell nonetheless

To wreak is a verb; it is something that someone does to something else. It is also not to be confused with “wreck,” which I have actually seen before.

EXAMPLES

Rusty’s litter box reeked from lack of cleaning. Whoopsies.

Rusty wreaked havoc in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep; the darn cat never wanted me to be fully rested.

WIPpet Wednesday!! October 9, 2013

Wow…I really just tried to write July for the date! I will not be joining next week because I will be on a mini getaway with my boyfriend. I so need it. I’m only getting one day off for about 6 weeks straight. Feel free to come kidnap me! So long as fun things happen after the initial kidnapping and I’m not allowed home or near a computer.

Since I haven’t had much time to write, due to work and work and school, I’ll be giving you the next few lines from what I shared last week. I did cheat a bit as this will be my NaNoWriMo piece, but I’ll definitely hit more than 50k words in the one month, so I think I’m safe.

Here’s how WIPpet works. Take an excerpt from your current Work In Progress and post it in a blog. The excerpt must in some way related to the date. And feel free to get VERY creative with the math. Then share that blog with everyone else here and read all the other amazing posts!!

Here’s mine for this week. Taking off from last week, which you can find here, Grace continues to deal with the punk. I have 25 paragraphs (they’re short I promise). My math is this: 10 + 9 +2 + 1 +3 = 25

Climbing up and onto his back, she dug her knee into his spine and grasped for his hand, the knife blade flying out. Pulling her fingers into a fist, she smashed it down onto his wrist until he let go and cried out.

“Get off me, bitch!”

“Stop resisting!” Grace shouted back, seeing red as the punk tried to wiggle his way loose from under her.

She moved up his body and rested her forearm against the back of his neck, working his face into the gravel. He cried out in pain, but Grace didn’t let up. She wouldn’t until his body completely relaxed and he decided to cooperate.

“Stop resisting, and I’ll let you up.”

Swallowing hard, Grace looked up to see Toulouse barreling his way down the street to her location. He had left his cruiser at the end of the block, driver’s side door flung open as he ran as fast as he could down the road.

Grace looked back down at her suspect and sneered as he tried to turn her over. She dug her knee farther into his back and put more pressure on his neck.

“A’ight. A’ight. Damn, bitch. I give up.”

Toulouse got to her and landed on the other side of the suspect. Toulouse grabbed for the suspects arm and wrenched it behind his back and pressed his own knee into the man’s back. Grace reached up and twisted the punks other arm back and watched as Toulouse clicked the handcuffs into place.

Grace let out a breath just as another cruiser pulled up. Two doors slammed and Grace knew who was walking over before she had a chance to even look up. The stupid cop that wouldn’t let up on her and his kid of a trainee. She took a deep breath and bolstered herself for any rude comments, sexual or personal, and started to tug the punk up by his cuffs.

“Got it all handled, Halling?”

If he hadn’t been facing her, Grace would have sneered. “Yes, it’s all handed. Thanks for the assist.”

She turned back to Toulouse and headed toward his cruiser to do the pat down. She knew the three men were giving each other nasty looks behind her back due to their silence, but she ignored them and kept on walking with the punk in front of her.

“You fucking tackled me! I’m gonna report this to your sup. Excessive force is what it is.”

“Shut up,” Grace muttered.

She shoved him against the back of the cruiser and spun him around. She patted down his arms and sides, deciding to wait for Toulouse to come back over for the rest of the pat down. A quick glance over her shoulder told her that he was already coming back.

“Got any needles on you? Anything sharp that’s going to poke me?”

The punk spit on the ground and growled. “None of your business.”

He pursed his lips and lifted his chin. Grace rolled her eyes and tugged on his cuffs to make her point. She didn’t want to get pricked if she could help it, and she was sure Toulouse would agree.

“It’s only going to be harder on you if you don’t cooperate.”

The punk didn’t respond.

“What we got, Halling?”

“Nothing yet. I only did the top half of the pat down, figured you could do the rest. You know, that whole man to man thing.” Grace smirked and stepped back when Toulouse grabbed hold of the handcuffs.

Before Grace could take three steps, an angry black woman came charging down the road, barefoot and braless. Grace immediately stepped between the punk, Toulouse, and the angry woman.

The woman was screaming so loudly with a hoarse and deep voice that Grace couldn’t understand a word she said. Every two steps the woman had to heave a breath as she waddled her large body closer and closer to the punk.

Grammar Wednesday: Word Mixups – Then v Than

These are two that get mixed up ALL the time, and it annoys me to no end. They mean very different things and can completely change the reading of a sentence and what follows.

EXAMPLES

Rusty, the wonder kitten, scarfed down her food and then vomited it up.

Rusty thought it was better to lounge on the cat tree than to indulge in more kitty nip.

WIPpet Wednesday! September 25, 2013

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday where we all make posts of our current WIP (Work In Progress) associated with the date. We link them up here and then read everyone else’s. Feel free to join in!

This week I’ll continue with Emma’s story…I had a title for it in my head and then I went to sleep and forgot it. I managed to actually get quite a bit of writing done this week, so it makes me happy to have lots of choices for WIPpet today. 13 sentences since it is 2013!

Context is Emma explaining to Molly what she “knows” about the “house” that Molly lives in and runs. This is after said kidnapping when Emma is still all drugged up, and Molly is so taking advantage of that.

“Caroline?”

It took Caroline a moment to respond. “Yeah?”

“When you first came here, was there a reason?”

“I don’t understand.”

“The first time I met you, when you base jumped off the building into my tree, did you land here on purpose?”

The color that had returned to Caroline’s face disappeared. She squeezed her hands tight and clenched her jaw—all signs of distress that Molly was sure to catalogue.

“I’d heard of this place before. You hide people and find them on occasion. I couldn’t find much information beyond that, and I’m a curious person.”

Molly felt that Caroline had more to tell, so she waited as the other woman gathered her thoughts. If need be she could beat the information out of her, but Molly had an inkling that the best way to get it with Caroline would be to wait her out.

Dying Embers RELEASE

Hello everyone,

I’m writing this post today because I got some news. The official release date for Dying Embers is December 1, 2013. I really want to do a blog tour for my release, and that’s where you come in. If you’re available and would like to help me out, I will forever be grateful and hopefully will get the chance to return the favor.

The blog tour would take place in late November, and I’ll provide everything you need for it. I’ll be contacting you in early November, with your official date to post.

Dying Embers is the prequel to Forever Burn and is published with Supposed Crimes, LLC. It’s a paranormal/speculative fiction novel with LGBT characters. Here’s the blurb, it’ll give you a better idea of what it’s all about.

She thought she was on a new path, but life keeps tugging Addison Lee back to her past and her gift.

Addison struggles to make a new life in Norwich, one where she can be the Battalion Chief of Fire Station Seven and live life as she sees fit. She wants a life without the complications of an ex-fiancé and a job that put her life on the line for little more than a gift she was born with. Learning the ropes of a new job can always be tough, and being a Battalion Chief means she has a great responsibility to her crew and to the city. Nervous about her first day already, Addison realizes that adding in a one-night stand with a future employee has left her on rocky ground.

Plagued by visions of a dying woman, Addison continues to cope with difficulties at her new job. She has no idea who the dying woman is, where she is, or even, when she is—and no means to find out. Addison is distracted from the dying woman and her new job when called to Wyoming on an emergency, where she discovers it’s not as easy to leave her past behind as she hoped.

So, again if you’d like to help, PLEASE OH PLEASE HELP ME OUT! just hit up the link below, fill out the form and I’ll again before forever grateful.

Link to the blog tour sign-up.

Thank you so much in advance!!

WIPpet Wednesday! Sept 11, 2013

So last week, I didn’t get many comments. It was suggested that perhaps this was due to the small WIPpet that I posted. This week you’ll get more. 20 paragraphs 9 + 11 = 20 of what immediately follows last weeks post. I haven’t actually written anything in over a week *head desk* so finding something to post on was rather difficult. It’s been a crazy, insane week for me, meaning I started a new job and have 4 papers due for school along with quite possibly *cough* dating someone *cough cough*.

Here we go. I’ve included the few lines from last week. What you need to know is that Emma and Joel are driving to her old apartment to pick up some things. The few lines from last week are NOT included in my actual count and most of the paragraphs are dialogue, so this shouldn’t be too long.

“Why are you here, Caroline?”

She cringed inwardly at the name and chewed on the inside of her lip.

“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Why are you at the house? Why did you come find us?”

Emma’s heart started to pound, but she shoved the feeling of panic down and took a deep breath. She needed to remain in control and not be cornered into telling him the truth. If anyone should find out, Molly should first. Emma turned to look at him and smiled.

“It was an accident.”

“You do realize that I know when you lie, right?”

“Umm…” Emma’s eyes widened as she stared at him.

“I’m an Empath.”

“Oh.”

Taking a deep breath and holding it her lungs until it burned, Emma blanched. She hadn’t expected Molly to keep an Empath so close at hand. That certainly complicated matters as he could tell when she lied and read her emotions—both of which she did not want him to do in any capacity.

“So yeah, you’ve been lying from the start. Care to tell the truth?”

“I don’t think it’s any of your damn business,” Emma spat back. She crossed her arms tighter and stared out the side window, willing herself to not respond to anything else that he said.

“Caroline—”

“Stop. Just stop it!”

Emma flung her hands out and curled her fingers into fists before pounding them onto her thighs. She’d lost her resolve. Grinding her teeth together, she seethed.

“It’s none of your business why I was base jumping. I was, and I crash landed in the wrong spot. You guys were nice enough to lend a hand. That’s all that happened.”

“Yes and no.”

“Damn it, Joel.”

“Stop leaving stuff out.”

“Stop the car.”

“What?”

Emma started to twist in her seat, unbuckling her belt as Joel took a right turn and tried the door handle. It was locked. She started to wrench it back and forth, using the full force of her body to try and get it opened. Joel was saying something, but she didn’t understand him. Emma swallowed scream after scream until she couldn’t anymore. She let out a feral shout before jerking around to glare at him.

Joel was finally slowing down and pulling to the curb. Emma lunged for the lock and pushed open the door, jumping out of the van before he’d come to a complete stop. She ran to the end of the block and turned the corner. She had to get away. She saw red as she aimed for the alley way.

“Caroline!”

If you would like to join in the amazingness that is WIPpet Wednesday, all you have to do is write a post with your current WIP (Work In Progress) and post it. Then link it up here and go read everyone elses. Love goes to MyRandomMuse for hosting this each week!

Grammar Wednesday: Word Mixups – Gentle v Genteel v Gentile

Here’s a three-fer.

Gentle means to be nice, to be kind and soft and comforting.

Genteel means to be polite and respectable.

Gentile is a person who was not a Jew in Biblical times. Someone who was not of the monotheistic faith.

 

EXAMPLES

He was gentle when he brushed the tangles out of his daughter’s hair.

He was genteel in the way he introduced himself, but the gaze he gave her was anything but.

Paul welcomed Gentiles into the Jesus Movement.

 

Got it? Good!

Excitement and more!

As most of you know, I spent two weeks traveling around the US from the East Coast to almost the West Coast. What you don’t know is that on my way back from Montana to Texas, I had an amazing visit with fellow WIPpeter and friend, Sarah Hart. She met up with me at the airport, and we had a great thirty minute conversation during my layover. Sarah is beautifully spirited and a wonderful person!

Sarah & me

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time talking with my publisher. She IM’d me to say that she’s really enjoying my novel For by Grace and that she wants to publish the series! Yay! It’s been a few weeks since I had sent it to her, and I’m always nervous that she won’t like it. But she wants it! *does the happy dance*

Secondly, she told me that she had nominated my novel Forever Burn for the 2013 Rainbow Awards. She put it into two categories, debut novel and paranormal romance. I doubt I’ll win anything, but I’m completely appreciative of the nomination and the confidence that she has in me.

We were also talking about the publishing company itself. In April, I will hopefully be traveling to Tampa, FL for the very first Rainbow Con. While I’m not going as a writer but as a general admission, I still think the experience will be great. I should have goodies from my stuff and goodies from my publisher as well (apparently she’s a tid bit shy about going to cons).

So far, 2013 and 2014 are looking to be big and great years for me! I’m hoping for the release of three novels next year: Ashes Fall, For by Grace, and my co-written piece, Across Worlds: Collision.

I have also copy-edited seven books since May, which I didn’t think was a lot until I really sat down to look at it. Since May, I’ve done those seven novels, edited one of my own, written one of my own and started that editing process, and edited my co-written piece. I am BUSY!

I’ll keep you notified of any further updates. Also! I’ll be posting my book reviews of my last summer reads as soon as I find the time.

Keep it strong, people

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