Category Archives: Upcoming Releases

#Seven-Sentence Sunday from Saugatuck Summer coming May 2014 from @RiptideBooks #mmromance

In honor of signing Saugatuck Summer with Riptide this week, I decided to share a passage from it for Seven Sentence Sunday. Only it’s more like Seven Paragraph Sunday, because Imma wordy bitch and that’s just how I roll.

Saugatuck Summer tells the story of Topher Carlisle, a 21-year-old college student who is spending the summer at a beach house on the shores of Lake Michigan with his best friend, Morgan Gardner, and her father, Brendan, while he figures out his future and copes with his past. Unfortunately for Topher, he’s developed a slightly awkward crush.

I shrugged. “Fine by me. There’s plenty of eye-candy to go around. Choose your fantasy-fodder and help yourself.”

“Ew. Can you not talk about my dad ogling people? Scarlett Johansson may be gorgeous, but still.”

“It’ll be a challenge, but I think I can refrain from licking the screen,” Brendan deadpanned, placing the wine bottle on the coffee table next to the bowl of popcorn and settling in the chair where he’d been working on his computer earlier.

EW! DAD!”

I laughed so hard I had to set my wine down before flopping onto the sofa, rolling and giggling. When I caught my breath, Brendan grinned at me and dropped a conspiratorial wink.

Oh, Lord have mercy.

That was it, I decided as Mo pressed play. My new mission in life would be to find as many excuses as possible to stay away from the house all summer, before I embarrassed myself by giving away my cute little crush on my BFF’s dad.

Saugatuck Summer is coming May, 2014, from Riptide.

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Saugatuck Summer is officially contracted with @RiptideBooks

As of this morning, I signed the contract to publish Saugatuck Summer with Riptide.

Some of you may recall back in late January/early February, I had a project which at my brain for two weeks. That project was Saugatuck Summer. I wrote 93,000 words in 15 days, all the while feeling something I’ve never felt about a book before and I’m not certain I will ever feel again.

I felt like I was making something truly amazing.

I know that sounds horribly egotistical, but that’s really how it felt, and I have a loud and brutal enough internal critic that I can be fairly confident it’s not ego, because I certainly don’t delude myself that everything I write is brilliant. But my internal critic was quiet on this one, like it, too, was standing back watching the process thinking, “Yep, this time you’ve got it right.”

Judging by the responses from my beta reader and Sarah Frantz, my editor at Riptide, I think I might not have been entirely wrong in that assessment, either.

So I wrote Saugatuck Summer like it was a fire consuming my soul and I’ve spent pretty much every day since I submitted it anxious for the day I could share it with the world. That day will now be in May 2014. Which is way too long for the impatience I feel, but that’s the way it works.

Saugatuck Summer tells the story of Topher Carlisle, a somewhat genderfluid 21-year-old trying to work his shit out, as 21-year-olds often must do. I’d call it 60% romance/40% coming-of-age. Maybe even 55/45. It was my first attempt in a very long time trying to write in first person POV, because Topher’s voice was so very loud and clear in my head he refused to let a third-person narrator speak for him. Over the course of a life-changing summer in the gay resort town of Saugatuck on the shore of Lake Michigan, Topher copes with resolving a lot of baggage from a very difficult upbringing and his own questionable choices.

Topher is very biographical of someone I know. In fact, pretty much everything except the “present day” action in the story actually happened to the person I modeled Topher’s past after. When Topher relates details about his past, it’s a completely true story. It’s very real, and I think the emotional intensity I experienced writing it came from realizing that yes, these things actually happened to a real person. It made me cry…God, I don’t even know how many times.

I could blather about it forever, but for now, suffice to say that I’m thrilled beyond imagining to know how and when this book is finally going to happen, and I’ll be counting down the months until I can share it with you all.

If you want a taste of the Saugatuck Summer universe, check out my free Love Has No Boundaries novelette, The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams. It briefly mentions Topher and gives some insight into the community where he grew up, being the story of a classmate of his from high school.

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#TeaserTuesday from Strain: Meet Rhys part 2 (coming Jan 2014 from @RiptideBooks ) #mmromance

As promised, I’m offering another, longer passage for TeaserTuesday today regarding Rhys, the nineteen year old protagonist in my post-apocalyptic novel coming in January from Riptide. You can find the passage I shared for Seven Sentence Sunday here.

Rhys is a survivor of a deadly plague that ravaged the human population over the last decade, killing a vast majority and turning a significant portion of the rest into maddened, animalistic predators called revenants. In the first snippet I shared, I introduced you to Darius via Rhys’ first impression of him. Rhys–who has been sheltering in an abandoned monastery for the last seven years with a handful of other survivors, including his younger sister and most recently, her infant son– is under attack by the revenants when Darius and his second-in-command Xolani rescue him.

This will actually be two segments because I can’t decide between the two passages and they’re both too long for Seven Sentence Sunday. It should also be noted that all these snippets are at present unedited. That’s due to happen next month, after which I very much hope there will be a longer, less segmented excerpt to share.

So, enjoy!

They snarled like rabid dogs and stunk to high heaven. He hadn’t considered what they might smell like until they bore down on him. Their wild manes of tangled hair reeked of oil and dirt. The ones who had once been men had beards even more ragged than the facial hair that grew indifferently in haphazard patches around Rhys’ jaw. Clearly hygiene wasn’t high on the revenant list of priorities.

Rhys giggled madly. He was losing it, he realized. His senses were aflame, singing; his awareness of everything had sharpened to a keen point. His heart raced and his muscles quivered. In those moments before death, he felt more alive than he had in the past seven years. He could almost thank the revenants for smelling so foul, because it made his last breaths into something that actually had an impact.

For one instant, he considered not fighting. Let them kill him. Let his final moment of this delicious sensitivity be the excruciating pain of their teeth rending his flesh.

In the end, though, the survival instinct was too strong. He swung his useless shotgun-turned-cudgel with what limited momentum he could muster, knocking one of them back. A spray of blood erupted from a cut on its brow and its head snapped back toward him, its eyes narrowing in fury. So human and yet so lacking anything resembling humanity.

The other charged him before he had a chance to draw the blood-smeared shotgun back for another blow. It knocked him to the stone floor, driving the breath from his lungs. The club flew from his hands. He managed a lucky blow with his elbow to its throat, winning himself a moment more of existence as it recoiled. Then it pressed down on him again, yellowed teeth snapping.

And the next one:

Darius had to hand it to the kid. With his shoulder blades visible beneath his skin, ribs jutting out like the bars of a xylophone, and his hazel eyes bulging with shock, he still had fight in him. No sooner had the question left his lips than he pushed past Darius.

Cady! Cady, are you okay!?”

Darius’ stomach sank and Xolani’s normally stern expression softened with sympathy. Before Darius thought to catch the kid, he’d darted out the door.

“Where is she? Cady!”

Shit.

“Keep searching the rooms. Find me that last rev Jamie reported and get the kid some damn clothes!” He took off after the survivor. His long strides carried him down the stairs where he caught the naked, dripping kid almost out the door. He might as well have been trying to hold an angry badger. The survivor thrashed and flailed, and Darius finally had to push him away when he even tried scratching and biting. Last fucking thing he needed was for the kid to draw blood.

Not that it mattered.

Suddenly free, the survivor didn’t pause but charged the final few steps to the door, against which Darius slammed him chest-first to eliminate the hazard posed by the kid’s teeth and nails.

“Settle down, son. There’s still a rev on the loose and we gotta find it. My scouts reported four. I’d hate to think you fended off those other ones just to run smack into the last.”

“My sister might run into it!” The kid’s flurry of struggles renewed. “Cady!”

Darius growled to himself and tried to make his tone at least somewhat sympathetic. “There ain’t no one left alive out there.”

The thrashing came to a shuddering halt.

“They got away?” The plaintive hope in the kid’s voice probably made a whole host of angels somewhere burst into tears.

Darius was no angel, but he didn’t want to be an asshole, either.

“I’m sorry, son.”

“But the revs were supposed to come after me. I was gonna distract them.” His voice cracked with desperate confusion. “They were supposed to get me!

Oh, fuck. This was why he hated dealing with survivors. Especially traumatized ones.

Futilely brave, fucking heroic traumatized ones.

“They probably heard the baby cry and it was all over.” As comfort went, Darius was pretty sure it fell short but he didn’t know what else to say. “Revs are predators and like any predator, they know babies are easy prey. You couldn’t have got their attention no matter what you tried.”

To his credit, the kid didn’t burst into tears. That would have put the perfect cap on Darius’ afternoon. Instead, he drew a few quavering breaths and said almost calmly, “Let me go.”

“You don’t wanna see what’s out there, son.”

Xolani spoke from behind him and Darius almost jumped. Shit. He got so distracted by the kid he wasn’t even watching his six.

“Kaleo and Gina are reporting the rev still at large isn’t in the building or courtyard. Jamie says Titus is out on his bike. He suspects the last rev ran off from pack and Titus gave pursuit. We’re still looking for clothes, but for now here’s a blanket the kid can wrap up in.”

Darius reached behind him to take the scratchy woolen blanket. “If you promise not to bolt, I’ll let up so you can put something on.”

The tips of the kid’s ears turned red and he gave a stiff nod. Darius eased his weight off him and stood back, proffering the blanket. Avoiding Darius’ eyes, the survivor wrapped it around himself, then opened the door and dashed out.

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#SevenSentenceSunday from Strain (coming Jan 2014 from @RiptideBooks ) Meet Rhys pt 1

I’m going to cheat a bit today and give you a bit more than seven sentences. Because the theme I’ve been going with is using Seven Sentence Sunday to introduce characters and elements you’ll encounter in Strain and there are just no seven sentences that encapsulate nineteen-year-old Rhys Cooper, a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world where a deadly virus has killed a vast majority of the population and turned a significant portion of the people remaining into maddened predators.

So I’m quoting here a more-than-seven-sentence passages which really give some insight into who Rhys is and how he functions. Stay tuned for #TeaserTuesday when I will share another, longer, passage about Rhys.

Rhys was splattered with blood by the time the revenant stopped thrashing. A drop itched as it chilled and dried on his lip, its weight irritating.

Don’t lick. Don’t lick. Don’t lick.

He supposed it didn’t really matter. Even if he managed not to become dinner, he was still a dead man. He had been from the moment he’d breathed the same air as the revenant.

Knowing that made it easier, in a morbidly reassuring way. He had a small knife in his pocket, the faux-ebony handle cracked and the blade dulled. It was useless as a weapon, but with enough determination he could try to slit his wrists. Assuming he survived the revs, he might still die a clean death. If he was smart, he’d do it now, before they got through the door.

But then they might still turn and go after Cadence and Caleb.

It was all about priorities, he thought, his chest heaving and his arms aching as he stared down at the caved-in face of the rev he’d killed with dispassionate curiosity. He could see that with a remarkable clarity he’d never had before. First, keep the revs from chasing his sister and nephew. Second, take them out and avoid being eaten. Third, kill himself before the Rot set in or he became a revenant. Knowing what to do had never been so easy.

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#TeaserTuesday from Saugatuck Summer

I don’t have a release date yet on Saugatuck Summer, but I’m anticipating it will be spring or summer, 2014. Saugatuck Summer is part new adult/coming of age and part romance. My protagonist, Topher Carlisle, is a 21-year-old college student at a critical time in his life, trying to work out his troubled relationships in his family, reconcile his history of abuse, and figure out where he’s going personally, academically, and financially.

In this segment, he meets his best friend’s father for the first time.

I turned back to trudge up the beach toward the house.

When I reached the bottom of the stairs climbing the dune, a man was coming down. He was dressed preppy-sharp: stonewashed blue Oxford shirt, well-fitted tan slacks. He appeared to be out for a stroll, not coming down to lay around the beach.

He looked like Robert Redford in his prime. Only not quite. The bone structure had that same sort of chiseled definition, but the eyes — which I could see only by virtue of the fact that his sunglasses were that weird sort where the lenses were tinted at the top but not actually dark — were long-lashed and feminine, more like Tom Hiddleston. And the mouth was softer and fuller, like David Wenham.

So, okay. He was basically an amalgamation of every redheaded man to ever turn my crank (and how!) And he lived in a popular gay resort town, which meant the chances were above average that he might actually be interested. Watching him trot lightly down those stairs to the beach, I realized what my objective this summer would be.

Agent Carlisle, your mission, should you choose to accept it, will be to find out which of these residences belongs to Mr. Strawberry-Blond Hunka Burnin’ Love and convince him to have sex with you on every horizontal surface — and against a few of the vertical ones.

I was so up for that gig.

He flashed a smile at me as he reached the bottom of the stairs and slid his sunglasses down his nose, revealing eyes so dark and sparkling a blue they made sapphires turn green with envy. And he had deep smile-creases in his cheeks, too long to be called dimples. Suddenly I wondered if my loose shorts were loose enough.

And he was smiling like he knew me. What—?

His hand darted out to shake mine. “Hi, you must be Topher. I’m Morgan’s dad, Brendan Gardner.”

Abort mission! Abort! Abort! Abort!

Seriously? Fuck my life.

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#TeaserTuesday from Strain: Meet Xolani

Xolani is for many, many reasons my favorite side-character in the cast of Strain, my post-apocalyptic novel due from Riptide in January. I just adore her so much. Since I’ve been using #SevenSentenceSunday to introduce characters and elements from Strain, I thought I would do it here, too.

“Fuck this noise.” Darius threw up his hands in defeat. “It ain’t my job to baby the civvies.”

He heard Xolani sigh behind him. “The profundity of your compassion makes me weep.”

“They teach you those big words in med school?”

“Taught me a few short ones, too. The kind with four letters. Wanna hear ’em?”

“Go saw some bones or something and get off my ass.”

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#TeaserTuesday from An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2)

Because I’m a big attention whore and apparently #SevenSentenceSunday isn’t enough to satiate that need, there’s this brilliant thing called #TeaserTuesday I found out about today!

At @kelly_instalove’s request, I’m going to be snippeting all three of my upcoming books.

This first one is from An Inch at a Time, the second book in a series of erotic novelette’s co-written with Heidi Belleau called The Professor’s Rule. In Giving an Inch, TPR#1, we meet James Sheridan and his one-time Dom, Professor Evander Carson, two years after their relationship ended. We give some insight into that previous relationship in Giving an Inch but we wanted to take a step back in time and explore how James and Carson started out. That’s what we address in An Inch at Time.

Evander could see the calculations written on James’ face, assessing how much time was left in the term and if he could begin to turn the class around and grasp it the way Evander described. Which was, of course, the perfect moment to make his offer.

“I can help you.” One corner of his mouth lifted in a wry smile. “I’m not at all adverse to doing some extra-curricular tutoring. If you’d be willing to entrust your academic future to the hands of a rumored deviant.”

He watched his student’s face carefully, searching for–ah, there it was. A flicker of intrigue that went beyond idle curiosity. He could almost hear James’ thoughts. Was Evander a pervert? What did that even mean? If James consented to be tutored by him, what else might happen?

Evander made no effort to deny the speculation that anything untoward would occur in the course of such tutelage. It wouldn’t do to mislead the lad, after all. Evander’s reputation wasn’t entirely unearned. For that matter, it wasn’t even mostly unearned. He could teach James, of that he had no doubt. And by the end of the term, he would have awoken in his student a passion for far more than history. The spark was there, on both the academic level and the other, even if young Mr. Sheridan didn’t realize it yet.

James cleared his throat again, looking both wary and fascinated. “Okay.”

“Excellent.” Evander jotted down an address on a sticky note and reached across the desk to lay it before James. “Be there tonight at 8 o’clock sharp. We won’t be doing this on campus.”

“Okay.” James’ voice was thick, raspy, as if he couldn’t get enough spit together to wet his tongue. But he took the sticky note and stood. Evander politely refrained from commenting on the semi-erection swelling the fly of the lad’s jeans. “Thank you, professor.”

“You’re welcome.” Evander dismissed him with a negligent wave of his hand, calling out only once James’ fingers lay on the doorknob. “And Mr. Sheridan?”

“Yes?”

“No underwear.”

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#SevenSentenceSunday from Strain: Meet Darius

Another snippet from Strain, my post-apocalyptic novel due to be released with Riptide in January.

In this segment, nineteen-year-old plague survivor Rhys Cooper is saved from a revenant attack (see last week’s snippet for info on the revenants) in the nick of time by Darius Murrell.

Rhys’ first thought when he opened his eyes was that his final prayer had been answered. He’d died before the revs could begin to eat him. God appeared before him, stern and mighty enough to justify all the fuss people made about Him. His dark face was concerned in a detached sort of way. That tracked, too; Rhys had never seen any indication that God actually cared for him. He didn’t know why God would be wearing camo fatigues or why He had His holy hair pulled back in a ponytail, but who was Rhys to question the Almighty? Instead, he accepted the proffered hand and it pulled him to his feet as though he weighed nothing.

 

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#SevenSentenceSunday from #Strain – Meet the revenants

I’ve decided to start participating in the Seven Sentence Sunday thing over on Twitter. The following excerpt is from Strain, which I will be publishing with Riptide. Release date is scheduled for January 13, 2014.

In this snippet from Chapter One, you meet the baddies of Rhys and Darius’ post-apocalyptic world, the revenants.

Wondering if he should ask God for forgiveness, he bashed the still-struggling body on the aisle runner, which was so dark and dingy a red that in the faint light that it looked like a river of dried blood down the middle of the chapel. He hoped to snap the spine or pulverize the brain or at least blind it before the other two—or was it three?—revs he knew rampaged outside were attracted by the noise. If Father Maurice was to be believed, revenants weren’t actually undead, despite the name. He’d said that rumor had only started because everyone had assumed the Rot to be fatal without exception. When the virus mutated and began turning some of its victims into animals, people had panicked and made up wild claims about zombies. But no, the revs were alive, and if they were alive, they could be killed just about any way a living, breathing person could die. They were just strong, insane, and impervious to pain.

Stay tuned for more snippets from Strain, and also from Saugatuck Summer, in the Sundays to come.

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“The Laird’s Forbidden Lover” #mm #historical #Highland #romance now available on NetGalley

My upcoming m/m Highland historical romance, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, is now available on NetGalley!

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April 25, 2013 · 8:14 am

Two weeks until “The Laird’s Forbidden Lover”

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Two weeks from today will be the official release date for The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, which means of course that if you order it on the Riptide site, you can have it in 12 days. If you haven’t checked out the excerpt, you can do so at the Riptide site: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/lairds-forbidden-lover

It hasn’t gone up on NetGalley yet, but I’m hoping that will happen any day now. In the meantime, if you’re a reviewer/book blogger and want a review copy, I have copies of the files in my possession. Just contact me using the form on the About page, or via email if you already have my address, and let me know what format you would like.

I’m very…curious to see how this release goes. Contemporary is the bread and butter of the m/m genre, obviously, so it will be interesting to see what happens with an historical title like this.

In other news, the first round of developmental edits on Strain is complete and we will hopefully begin line edits soon, assuming it doesn’t need much more work. An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2) has been written and is awaiting acceptance, and TPR3 is mostly done. If things work out according to plan, Heidi Belleau and I will have some interesting audience participation activities taking place as we get further into this series, which will move back and forth between an exploration of James’ and Professor Carson’s history and their present, including James’ burgeoning involvement with Satish.

Contrary to what some people are assuming, TPR is NOT a serial. It’s true that there are not necessarily HEA or even HFN endings to these shorts, but erotic shorts are about the encounter not about the development of the relationship. Erotic shorts don’t require an HEA or HFN.

Which is not to say that there won’t be relationship development and evolution–there definitely will be–but it will be explored through the context of a series of interconnected shorts that each focus on a single encounter or cluster of encounters.

In the meantime, I’m going to go back to working on developing a story the likes of which I’ve never written (or thought I could write) before. Stay tuned. 🙂

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25% off my upcoming #mmromance Highland #historical until April 5 @RiptideBooks #gay #romance #discount #sale

Woot! The Laird’s Forbidden Lover will be released on May 6. I now have cover art to share! And as a bonus, you can save 25% if you pre-order between now and April 5 at Riptide.

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Farm lad Iain Munro knows his love affair with Tavish MacIntyre, future Laird of Creachann-Dubh, is dangerous—discovery could mean disgrace and death. But they’ve been in love since they were boys, and they’ve never been able to resist each other, dishonorable though it is to deceive their families.

Young men now, their sexual explorations have deepened and their love for each other has strengthened. But Iain’s father fears for his eldest son’s future, and Tavish faces dangers and duties of his own: his demanding mother would see him respectably wed, and his interfering sister knows too much—and has schemes of her own.

Facing a lifetime apart, Iain and Tavish must leave their childhoods behind for good as they choose between honor and love, innocence and happiness, and their vows before God and to each other.

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One morning, Two contracts

Today I had the distinct pleasure of signing not one, but TWO, contracts for upcoming releases with Riptide Publishing.

The first is a short collaboration with Heidi Belleau called Giving an Inch.  This 11,000-word short story, which is intended for release on April 15, is a contemporary story featuring grad student James and his ex, Professor Carson, who once tutored James in far more than Scottish history. While the action in this story is pretty vanilla, there’s an overtone of psychological domination and allusions to a lot of kink in the past. Not necessarily a story for the BDSM-disinclined.

The second is for my much-anticipated 20,000-word  m/m Highland novella (it started as a short but, um, it grew up. In a lot of ways.) The title might still potentially change, but at the moment it’s The Laird’s Forbidden Lover. This is a historic romance set in 17th-century Scotland between two young, distant cousins: impetuous Tavish MacIntyre, destined to be laird, and staid farmer’s son Iain Munro. They fall in love as teenagers and grow to manhood struggling with questions of sin, honor, and whether or not they can ever truly be together for more than a few stolen moments a year. The anticipated release date for this title is May 6.

I’m thrilled to be able to announce these contracts and upcoming releases and very much look forward to working with Riptide!

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Velocity Sneak Peek – Chapter One

Those of you who have already bought Acceleration have read the sneak peek for Velocity, but as I did with Acceleration, I’m going to share it here, as well, to add to the Free Reads page.

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Cover reveal continued!

So, There’s one aspect of the GORGEOUS artwork Kerry did for Velocity that you can’t see very well on the ebook cover. The convention for the series until this point has been to feature a character portrait of the POV character and then a “couple” shot. Well, Velocity is told from both Derrick AND Gavin’s POV so the portrait feature became a bit trickier, as there’s only so much room on a book cover before thins begin to look crowded.

So, as you can see in the background here:

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there IS a portrait of the two of them, but in order to see it fully, you need to see the back cover of the print edition. For those of you who won’t have the print edition, however, I’m including it here.

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If you want to see the portrait of Derrick and Gavin without the text over it, you can check it out on Kerry’s DeviantArt page, here.

Have I mentioned how much I love my cover design team? Because, I mean, really!

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Crawling out from under my rock (with Velocity stuff and other news!)

So! Hi there! Yes, I’ve been very quiet the last month and a half or so, haven’t I? On December 19th I was supposed to participate in the The Next Big Thing blog hop, for which I’d been tagged by Anne Tenino and had tagged P.D. Singer and Leta Blake. Clearly, I completely spaced making that post. I also owe Leta a guest blog post I was supposed to get to her earlier this month.

Though the holidays and the release of Acceleration were a not-insignificant portion of my distraction, the main part of it has actually been illness. Around December 10, a mildly escalating cough became a case of bronchitis that has not wanted to let go. On Christmas Eve, when I was supposed to be getting my house ready to have MIL over for Christmas the next day, I was instead at the urgent care clinic having an albuterol treatment, where they also prescribed for me antibiotics and an inhaler. Two weeks later I went in to see my own doctor because I still hadn’t improved, and she prescribed for me a different inhaler with steroids in it. Now here we are nearly two months since the first cough began and I’m still not over it, though it does appear to be (very slowly) improving.

Despite my illness, the only aspect of my productivity that has taken a significant hit is my blogging obligations. 😀 I did manage a guest post for Chicks & Dicks, which will be up on Wednesday. Their theme for January is New Beginnings and I took an opportunity to discuss how that relates to some of my current projects and also my writing philosophy.

In addition, I’ve been very busy on the writing and editing front. On December 19th, I submitted Velocity to my editor. A couple days later, I heard back from the press to which I had submitted Sooper Sekrit Projekt, which I now feel comfortable letting you all know is titled Strain. I got a Revise and Resubmit letter and did some brainstorming with the editor I’m working with, which resulted in me significantly restructuring most of the 65K I had already written, and adding almost another 40K, making Strain nearly twice as long as the books of my Impulse trilogy.

If you would like some hints about Strain, since it was open on my desktop at the time, I used a couple snippets of it when P.D. Singer and Anne Tenino tagged me for the 7/7/7 game over on Facebook last week. You can find the posts here and here.

Back in August when I was trying to come up with something short to fill in the interim between the release of Inertia and Acceleration, I wrote a short story about Highland lads that I subsequently put on the shelf because I was under a deadline to write and submit Strain. After having Leta Blake take a look at it and assure me it didn’t go off the rails quite as badly as I seemed to think it had, I reworked and expanded it a bit and I’m rather pleased with the results. So finally I polished it up and sent it off, and we’ll see just where it ends up.

Then last week I got my edits back for Velocity. In addition to being ill, I’ve been a bit hesitant to release a lot of news about Velocity because I don’t have any cover art for it yet. Kerry Chin and I had originally targeted the end of December for having the cover art done, but health and RL issues have been plaguing her as well. This is why I still don’t have the first chapter up on my Coming Soon page. Now we’re hoping to have that done at the end of January.

While this has put me behind the ball on the publicity front, on the text front, things are going just swimmingly. I’m really happy that I made arrangements to do the edits so early, so I won’t be caught in a crunch to turn them around and get the ARCs out immediately after I get the edits done like I was with Acceleration, and I’ll have a lot more time for proofreading without hitting that point where I want to gouge my eyeballs out with a spork if I have to look at the text one more damned time.

With that in mind, assuming I have the cover art, the release date for Velocity will be March 2. I may have to reschedule if something goes wrong on the art end, but I don’t think that will be necessary. I will be posting more information as it becomes available.

If all goes well, I hope to release something every three months or so this year, whether by self-pub or through a press. I’m hoping to have the Highland story published around June, and Strain around September. What will I have for December? Well, that is the big question. I have a couple different ideas I’m tossing around that I hope to begin writing once I have Strain resubmitted. Stay tuned!

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Acceleration: The First Weekend

Acceleration-ecover-1800x2700

Just a reminder for those who missed it (due to the information being tacked onto the end of my last long post) because it was released on November 29/30, Acceleration DOES qualify for the Members Choice awards at the GoodReads M/M Romance group. You can read about it down at the bottom of this post. I would really love to see my cover artists’ hard work rewarded by getting a nod for this gorgeous cover you see here. Anything else is just gravy.

If you’re looking for fun stuff, I think I have at least one guest post going up at Eden Winter’s blog this week. Possibly two. It was a two-part series dealing with some of the music types and songs I referenced in Acceleration and I’m not sure what the posting schedule was supposed to be, but be sure to check it out for some really great insight into Derrick and his musical tastes.

The rest of this may be boring to readers who just want to know about the book and/or the author. This is mostly diary stuff about the self-publication process for other authors who want to know, so I’ll put it under a cut.

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Less than 36 hours to go to Acceleration!

In the wee-small hours last night, I sent to final proof of Acceleration to Michael at Booknibbles to be formatted and converted. Since the upload and approval process for Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo takes 24-48 hours, I will begin uploading it as soon as he has it back to me (hopefully tonight.)

What this means is that there’s a chance that Acceleration will actually be available for purchase at various times the day before the official release, since I have no control over when the file actually gets approved and posted to the various sites. I don’t know what time zone All Romance Ebooks is in, but I know it’s at least an hour or two ahead of me, so if you bought Acceleration on pre-sale there, it will be available perhaps midnight Central or Mountain time (maybe even Eastern, I dunno.) I plan to upload it and have it live at Rainbow Ebooks and SmashWords around the same time.

I will be posting buy links as they become available.

It may be another week or two for the paperback to become available, as that process takes considerably longer due to the need to ship and approve physical copies.

Now, for those of you who are interested, a little insight into the life of a self-published author.

I don’t usually bother saying stuff like this, because I want readers to buy from the website that is most convenient for them, which is why I have it available at so many places. But, if you’re indifferent to where you get the file and want to know which sites are the most profitable in me (thus enabling me to continue writing once my kid is in school full-time rather than getting a day job) here’s the breakdown of the royalties I get from the various sites:

SmashWords: 85%
Kobo: 80% through Nov 30, then 70% after
Amazon: 70% minus a few cents for the file transfer fee
Barnes & Noble: 65%
All Romance Ebooks, Itunes and Rainbow Ebooks: 60%

So SmashWords definitely pays me the best, though if I had to express a preference for where people buy, it would actually be Amazon and ARe, even though I get lower royalties there. The reason? Because they have bestseller lists (Kobo, Itunes and B&N probably do, too, but my sales on those sites are practically non-existent so I’m not going to hit them anyway, and SmashWords just doesn’t move the volume for it to matter if I’m one of their best sellers.)  If I end up on the bestseller lists for Amazon or ARe, however, I will get a lot more exposure and sell a lot more books.

The same principle applies to the paperback. I make about $3 more on a paperback sold through the CreateSpace website than I do on one sold through Amazon, but sales on CreateSpace aren’t going to boost my rankings, thus giving me more visibility and sales.

Of course, the question everyone is going to be asking once they’re done with Acceleration is “When does Velocity come out?”

The good news is, I’m much more knowledgeable about the process going into Velocity than I was going into AccelerationInertia was a whole other animal. No one was expecting it, I hadn’t done any marketing beforehand or generated any sort of anticipation. There was no timeline except when I felt it was ready to be released.

I’m actually a bit embarrassed at my own naivete there. 🙂

It didn’t take me long to realize Acceleration would be different, because people were expecting it. I had to set a release date. I had to set target times for cover art and edits and such to be done and ARCs to be released, because people were watching and waiting for it. I didn’t plan ahead enough (for instance, I didn’t lock in my reservation for when my editor would be available until after I had the manuscript written, which meant that a lot of the delay was simply the manuscript gathering dust because it couldn’t go anywhere until my turn in her queue came up. Likewise, the cover art reveal was a little rushed and haphazard because I didn’t schedule a slot for my artist to work on the art until much later than I should have.

What this meant was that if I wanted to get the book released before the holidays (which I’ve since learned wasn’t really necessary as apparently ebook sales aren’t great in December–I imagine it’s actually after the holidays, when everyone is cashing in their bookstore gift cards, that ebook sales take off) I was really cutting it way too close. But even without the factor of the holidays, there was the fact that people were demanding Book Two and I really needed to get it out there before people lost interest and I fell off the map.

I’ve learned my lesson with Velocity and hopefully have my ducks in a much neater row. I’ve scheduled my slot with both my cover artist and editor well in advance this time. I hope to have the cover art by the end of December, preferably for a January cover reveal. The turn-in date for the manuscript to go to my editor in mid-December and I’ll have it back in mid-January.

So when will Velocity be out? Well, if you’re looking at that banner up top here on my blog, it says March 2013. At which point in March depends on how extensive the revisions I need to do once I get my edits back. If the revisions are minor, I hope to have ARCs available at the beginning of February and will release at the beginning of March. If the revisions are more extensive, we’re looking at mid-to-late February and March, respectively. I’ll have a better idea once I have my edits back in mid-January.

So. Keep an eye out. We’re in the final stretch of the wait for Acceleration. If you would like your chance to win a copy, the drawings at Stumbling Over Chaos and The Novel Approach are still open, so be sure to go register. And also, I’m doing my first GoodReads giveaway, too! I’ll be giving away a paperback of Acceleration at the end of December. Be sure to go enter!

Finally, for those of you who are interested, because it’s being released on November 30, Acceleration will still qualify for the Members’ Choice Awards over at the GoodReads M/M Romance group! Nominations close December 5. The award I’m most concerned with there is the Cover Art award, because Kerry and Michael’s hard work deserves to be recognized. Inertia has been nominated there, but Acceleration has not. If you want to know what other categories Inertia and Acceleration might qualify for, I will list them here:

Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Romance Book (Inertia or Acceleration)
Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Series (Impulse)
Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Author (moi)
Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Character(s) (Derrick and/or Gavin)
Nomination – Best Debut Book (Inertia has already been nommed)
Nomination – Best Cover (Inertia has been nommed, Acceleration hasn’t)
Nomination – Best Title (Inertia or Acceleration)
Nomination – Best Couple/MC’s (Derrick and/or Gavin)
Nomination – Best Sex Scene (take your pick from either Inertia or Acceleration)
Nomination – Best Side/Supporting Character (Miss Ingrid, LeeAnn, Andi, Devon or Hannah)
Nomination – Best Tearjerking scene (there’s one from Acceleration that just might qualify. You be the judge)
Nomination – Best First Time (this would be Inertia naturally, though honestly, after having read the first time in Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino? Hoo doggies! I don’t stand a chance.)
Nomination – Funniest Quotes/Best Lines (take your pick)
Nomination – Best book of the year (take your pick)
Nomination – BDSM (sex content) (probably Acceleration more than Inertia)
Nomination – Contemporary (genre) (take your pick)
Nomination – Hurt/Comfort (theme) (maybe? I dunno.)

So. If you decide you want to participate (and this is not meant to be pushy: as I’ve said, the only one that will break my heart to not see the books get the nod is the Cover Art category) check out the rules for the contest, and you have until December 5 to make your nominations.

So excited for people to start reading Acceleration! It’s almost here! Whee!

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Filed under Acceleration, Administrative, Announcements, Contests, Inertia, News for Released Titles, Upcoming Releases, Velocity

Get Inertia and pre-order Acceleration, Two for the price of One, today at ARe!

All Romance Ebooks is having a 50% rebate sale today only, Monday, November 26. Which means you can get buy Inertia and pre-order Acceleration for $3 each. Don’t miss your chance to get them both for the price of one! (Acceleration will be released Friday, November 30!)

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Busy Friday! Guest posts and thoughts (mostly about sex) all over the place!

Happy post-Thanksgiving to everyone!

Today I’m appearing on not one, but two blogs. The first is over at Pam Singer’s blog, where I’m talking about being a week out from the release of Acceleration and what you can expect to see from the book. Pam was lovely enough to do a beta read of Acceleration for me, which I think was an enormous boon that helped shape several important bits of the story.

The second is a small Derrick and Gavin ficlet over at Cryselle’s Bookshelf, entitled Lessons. The two posts actually work quite well together and I recommend checking out the ficlet after reading the post.

Finally, also tying in rather nicely to the theme of my blog post over at Pam’s blog is this article by Ethan Stone entitled Celebrating the Horndog Within, in response to which I had several thoughts I shared in the comments. The quantity of sex content in a book has become an issue of sometimes contentious debate among readers, reviewers, and authors. It’s a decision to which we authors have to give serious consideration and figure out what works for us, and hope it works for the readers as well.

So, yeah. I’m all over the place today. Bounce around with me and check it out!

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Acceleration Giveaway at Stumbling Over Chaos

Chris at http://stumblingoverchaos.com is hosting a giveaway for a shiny new copy of Acceleration on release day. Head on over and comment according to the rules to win!

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Acceleration Release Date: 11/30/2012 (Available for pre-order at ARe)

Having now received my edits back, I can announce a release date for Acceleration, Impulse, Book Two. The release will be November 30.

My options for making pre-orders available are pretty much limited to AllRomanceEbooks, so that’s where you can go if you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE it ordered and ready to be all yours on November 30!

If you have a review site or blog feel free to contact me and ask for an ARC if I haven’t already contacted you!

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(NEW) New covers, upcoming releases, housekeeping, and GO VOTE!

So. Remember those new covers for Inertia I rolled out a couple weeks ago?

LOL, well, it turns out those aren’t going to be the final versions. While the high-contrast filters looked wonderfully bright and eye-catching on the computer screen, it just wasn’t going to work in print, especially on the Acceleration cover. So my wonderful cover artist Kerry put her head together with Michael from BookNibbles to come up with something that combined Michael’s eye-catching layout with Kerry’s brilliant art. The results are below.

Sorry things have been a mess while my lovely artists have worked this out, but I think it’s for the best. I’m waiting on the latest version of the print proof for Inertia, but assuming the proof goes well, I hope to have that available within another week or so. I had intended to have it available by now, but we faced two setbacks. One was that the cover simply didn’t work in print, and the other was that in the process of trying to remake the cover, a hurricane struck the east coast, which affected our ability to work with Michael to get things finalized. Of course, redoing the cover for the print version meant redoing the cover for the ebook version as well, so now I’m on my third release of this title with different cover art. the listing over at GoodReads is a mess, BUT I think it’s worth it to have the best possible cover.

Speaking of Hurricane Sandy, don’t forget that from now until Nov 7, I am donating a dollar for each copy of Inertia sold. If you’ve been thinking of checking it out, now is a great time to do so!

Another area the hurricane has affected has been the editing process of Acceleration. For a while it had looked like my editor might be able to get the edits back to me earlier than our contract had specified, but Sandy has set that back as well, and so now instead of the late November release I was considering, it might be pushed back into early December.

A lot of this can be chalked up to the fact that I’m such a neophyte at this self-publishing gig. I’m still learning the best and most efficient way to go about things. If I had to do it all again, I would have held off on the release of Inertia until Acceleration was closer to being ready for release, and I would have made any sort of public statement of intent for the release of Acceleration based upon mere estimates and guess work. I think things will be much more streamlined moving into Velocity as now I have a better idea of what all is involved of balancing a release with marketing. That wasn’t an issue I faced with Inertia.

One thing I will be working on more in the near future is adding more feature content to this blog. So far it’s been pretty exclusively dealing with details of my upcoming releases, etc. I actually feel quite self-conscious pimping myself so much, but so much of what I do now is focused on preparing for the print release of Book One and the release of Book Two that there isn’t much else for me to say. But as I build my back catalog and branch out into other realms, that’s going to change and hopefully the blog won’t be so much “oh, hey, look at my book! (that you’ve seen a hundred times before.)

Before I close this out, allow me to encourage all my readers in the U.S. to get out next Tuesday and vote. There is a lot riding on this election; don’t let your vote go to waste.

And while we’re speaking of voting, the M/M Romance group over at GoodReads has opened up nominations for their Readers’ Choice Awards. I’m not egotistical enough to nominate, or ask for nominations, for my own books, but I would really love to see Kerry and Michael’s hard work acknowledged by seeing one of these covers nominated for the Best Cover category.

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Acceleration COVER REVEAL and HALLOWEEN EXCERPT!

So, I bobbled this a bit. The wonderful folks at Top2Bottom Reviews were supposed to host my cover reveal for Book Two and a special Halloween-themed excerpt. Which they did! But while they posted what was a very fun interview and a lovely review by Gabbi (thank you Gabbi!) there was some last-minute confusion and changes to the cover art so the version they have posted there isn’t the final version, and also the excerpt I sent them apparently wasn’t formatted properly so it’s a bit hard to read.

SO! I am going to put the cover art and excerpt here as well, with TONS of love to T2B for hosting me yesterday!

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Special Excerpt from Chapter Seven of Acceleration

(ARC-quality excerpt; this has not received a final proof-reading)

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First Chapter: Acceleration, Impulse Book Two

Though this first chapter has been available at the end of Inertia for some time, I just realized I had never posted it here. I will do so now. Also, be sure to check out the other bonus excerpt from Acceleration over at Brandon Shire’s blog!

Stay tuned at the end of October for a third excerpt coming to Top2Bottom reviews, along with the cover reveal for Acceleration!

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October 20, 2012 · 9:22 pm