Tag Archives: excerpt

Kicking off the JUGGERNAUT blog tour! @ TTCBooksandMore @SinfullySexyB @cupoporn @ontopdownunder1

Hi and welcome to the JUGGERNAUT blog tour! Be sure to comment at each stop along the way for one of three chances to win an early copy of BANE.

Today I’ll be sharing a sneak peek at BANE, the sequel to JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN, over at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews. You’ll also find spotlight stops at TTC Books and More, On Top Down Under, and Coffee and Porn in the Morning. Come along and get your apocalypse on!

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Oh! The Bane page @RiptideBooks has an excerpt already! With Darius and Rhys! #postapocalyptic #mmromance

Gosh, I was so excited about the Bane pre-order and everything that I didn’t even notice the excerpt was already up! (or maybe it wasn’t and they just sneaked it in there since it went live.)

Have you been missing Darius and Rhys from Strain? Well, catch up with them now!

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Get a sneak peek at Risk Aware (Saugatuck #2) and more! @RiptideBooks #SaugatuckSummer #blogtour

Today on Day 4 of the Saugatuck Summer blog tour, I’ve got a special treat lined up in the form of an excerpt from Risk Aware (Saugatuck #2.) Those of you who have read Saugatuck Summer are already acquainted with Geoff and Robin, an couple who take Topher in when he’s got no where else to go.  Risk Aware is the story of how Geoff and Robin get together. I’m sharing it over at Delighted Reader.

I also have another excerpt from Saugatuck Summer, this one a talk between Topher and Jace when they reconnect soon after Topher has ended his affair with his BFF’s dad. That is happening over the The Book Nympho.

I’m also making a spotlight stop over at Butterfly-o-Meter with yet another chance to win your choice of my backlist titles. How does that work? Well, at each stop along the blog tour, I’ll be trivia question from Saugatuck Summer. Yes, this means some familiarity with the book is required, though it doesn’t necessarily mean a purchase is required. Aside from things like the Amazon and B&N lending programs, you might also find the answers in the excerpts I’ve shared along the blog tour, or in the Saugatuck Summer quotes on Goodreads. The more questions you answer, the more chances you have to win.

Please do not post the trivia answers in the comments on the blog posts. Instead, go to my “About” page, where I’ve customized the contact form there for you to submit the answers to me privately. The contest will remain open until June 19 with the winners chosen on June 20, to give people a chance to find the answers. Each correct answer is another chance to win! So come play with us!

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Two weeks until summer–well, “Saugatuck Summer” that is. @RiptideBooks #mmromance #coming soon

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About this time two weeks from now, Saugatuck Summer will be starting to go live around the interwebs. If you want to register for a chance to win free ebooks for a year from Riptide, it’s available for pre-sale at their website. Pre-buying also means you get the book to download two days early.

Here I am, writing posts to gear up for the blog tour and bouncing up and down in anticipation because I’m so proud of this book. And to add to the excitement, we now have an excerpt! So be sure to head over to Riptide’s site (or there is a PDF available for downloading at Goodreads) to check out the first FIVE chapters!

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Don’t miss your chance to win one of the first two The Professor’s Rule books! @RiptideBooks

Just a reminder, you have until the end of the year to swing by our blog tour stops for Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) and comment to be entered to win in a drawing for copies of the first two books that we’ll be holding New Year’s Day.

While you’re there, be sure to enjoy some of the tidbits we’ve shared. We discuss relationship dynamics, give sneak peeks at TPR #4, and answer some of great questions from interviewers!

Here is the schedule for all our stops:

December 16, 2013 – 3 Chicks After Dark
December 16, 2013 – The Novel Approach
December 17, 2013 – Live Your Life, Buy the Book
December 18, 2013 – Pants Off Reviews
December 18, 2013 – MM Good Book Reviews
December 19, 2013 – Cup O’ Porn
December 20, 2013 – Up All Night, Read All Day
December 20, 2013 – Sid Love
December 21, 2013 – Book-A-Holic Anon- Spotlight Stop
December 22, 2013 – Queer Town Abbey
December 24, 2013 – Attention is Arbitrary

Also, if you swing by Riptide, you can check out my upcoming release, Strain, including THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS! Enjoy!

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Check out @cupoporn today for a sneak peak at TPR #4! #mmromance #erotica @riptidebooks @heidibelleau

Today in the Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) blog tour, Heidi and I have swung by Cup-O’-Porn to share another excerpt from Every Inch of the Way (TPR #4). Leave a comment to be registered in our giveaway for copies of Giving an Inch (TPR #1) and An Inch at a Time (TPR #2.) If you haven’t caught up on this series of smutty novelettes, now is a good time to do so! Be sure to check out our other stops on the tour and leave comments there as well! Each comment gets you another entry!

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Heidi and I are at Pants-Off Reviews and MM Good Book Reviews today! #mmromance #blogtour

Today in our next set of stops on the Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) blog tour, Heidi and I are sharing a look ahead at Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) over at MM Good Book Reviews, so if you’re looking forward to the next installment, be sure to check it out!

We’re also giving you a few facts you might not know about Satish at Pants-Off Reviews. I know there are a lot of Satish lovers out there clamoring for more, so here’s a little taste!

Remember that every time you comment on one of our tour stops, you are registered for another chance to win a copy of either Giving an Inch (TPR#1) or An Inch at a Time (TPR#2) so if you’re not caught up on the series yet, this is a great chance to get there!

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Check out some facts about James and an excerpt from Inch by Inch today!

InchByInch_TourBannerToday in the first two stops on our blog tour for Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3), Heidi Belleau and I are visiting 3 Chicks After Dark with a few facts you may or may not know about James Sheridan, one of our TPR protags. We’ve also brought an excerpt from Inch by Inch over to The Novel Approach.

If you take the time to comment and chat with us, you’ll be entered to win an ebook copy of either Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) or An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2) so if you’re not caught up on this series, now’s a great chance to see what you’ve missed!

Be sure to hit all the stops on our blog tour this week for more chances to win!

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Check out the first three chapters of STRAIN now @RiptideBooks #mmromance #postapocalyptic

The STRAIN excerpt is now available on the Riptide website. A full three chapters! Woohoo!

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/strain

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November 30, 2013 · 7:25 pm

Belated #TeaserTuesday from Saugatuck Summer (#mmromance coming May 2014 from @RiptideBooks) inspired by a FB convo

So over on Facebook, Lisa from The Novel Approach posed this question about barebacking in m/m romance:

Okay, peeps, opinion:

Brand new M/M author, chapter one, first few pages, guys are already gettin’ busy. It’s their first time together, neither are virgins. They bareback, no mention at all of condoms or status.

This is a real-world contemporary, not paranormal, not fantasy.

Thoughts – irresponsible on the author’s part? Not a big deal? What?

This question keeps popping up occasion. Leta Blake has had a couple great posts about her research into why gay men bareback over on her blog, and it came up not long ago at Jessewave as well.

Yesterday, people on Twitter were doing a #UnpopularOpinion thing. Well, here’s mine:

The prevalence of protected sex in m/m romance is out of proportion with reality to the point of being a rather trite.

(/me dons flame-retardant suit. Any flames on this post will be unanswered and/or deleted)

I know WHY this is. M/M romance is written primarily by straight women, and we love the gay men we write about and we want to portray them in as positive and responsible a light as possible and never show them doing things which are, in popular opinion, Bad Things.

But we as storytellers have no moral or ethical obligation to show our characters doing the perfectly correct thing all the time. We do, however, have a moral or ethical responsibility to portray minority characters as fully rounded, complete, un-stereotyped beings. And that means letting them do things that maybe aren’t politically correct.

The Perfectly Correct use of condoms is another branch of the same school of thought that says 1-finger-2-fingers-3-fingers-fuck is the only way to gear up to anal sex, and that spit isn’t lube. Except some men–and women–have anal sex without any manual prep whatsoever, and some of them are perfectly okay using spit as lube. What we assume as gospel because our genre has been preaching it as gospel Ain’t Necessarily So.  When you scream “SPIT ISN’T LUBE” you are basically telling real people who use it as their lube of choice with no difficulties URDOINITRONG.

I think the insistence on the Protected Sex All The Time Unless They Have The Talk trope in m/m romance is its own form of well-intentioned homophobia. First off, because most people don’t raise nearly as much fuss–if any at all–if characters in an m/f romance have unprotected sex. This reinforces the idea that HIV/AIDS is a Gay-Only issue, and yes, it is an issue in the gay community, except maybe there are members of that community who don’t perceive it that way. Who, for whatever reason, to not consider condom usage to be an Absolute Necessity in any and all circumstances. Maybe they’ve just decided it’s their risk to take, for whatever reason they want to risk it.

Secondly, it trivializes the other issues surrounding the choice whether or  not to use condoms, many of which are emotional and personal and subjective to each individual. We like to over-simplify and make it a black-or-white issue, but it ain’t.

If we as writers are going to portray characters within the gay community, we need to give visibility to all its various schools of thought and behavior.

Someday I’m going to write up a blog post about Strain and why I chose the fuck-or-die trope for it. Let’s just say a lot of it has to do with subverting the idea that fluid exchange = death. But this #TeaserTuesday segment is about Saugatuck Summer and one of the many reasons why a character might willfully, knowingly, choose not to use condoms.

And this time I’m going to put it behind a cut because this is actually from Chapter 12 and features a rather significant conflict spoiler.

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“An Inch at a Time” (The Professor’s Rule 2) w/@HeidiBelleau #mm #erotica available for pre-sale @RiptideBooks

An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2) is now up for pre-sale at the Riptide website (complete with excerpt!) The website will be going down for maintenance for a few days here shortly, but I’ll re-tweet this once it’s back up and running.

In An Inch at a Time, we take a step back, four years before the events of Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) to examine how Professor Carson and his student, James Sheridan, began their power-exchange relationship.

Enjoy!

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#TeaserTuesday from Strain, coming Jan 2014 from @RiptideBooks – About Project Juggernaut

We’re getting close to the end of what I feel comfortable sharing from Strain. I imagine the first three chapters or so will be the excerpt when it goes up on the Riptide website, and today’s segment comprises the end of Chapter Two. Take this with a grain of salt, because this section is one I know that is going to see a lot of tweaking when it goes through edits, due to a ton of infodumping. All critical information that needs to get out very early in the story, but we all hate lengthy chunks of exposition, so I’m sure Sarah Frantz and I will be working very hard to make this feel less clunky.

In this section, Darius and Xolani and the rest of their squadron have rescued Rhys (Part 1 and Part 2) and Jacob from an attack by revenants on the monastery where they’ve been sheltering for the last seven years. Rhys, who is still concussed and disoriented from an earlier fight with Jacob, wants to know what is going to become of him, which leads to a discussion about the nature and origin of the virus to which they’ve been exposed in the attack.

Rhys nodded slowly. Some of this he’d learned in history lessons with his mother, also. “Did they succeed? In creating the super soldiers?”

“After a fashion.”

“I don’t understand. How did it turn into the Rot?”

“Because the virus was designed with a second purpose, which was to weaken the enemy. Imagine you’re one of these super soldiers and you’re wounded in battle. Maybe even killed. Any force strong enough to do that needs to be weakened, either to slow their offensive or cripple their defense. So, when exposed to air, the Alpha strain in the blood of the infected troops would mutate into a Beta strain, which any nearby enemies would take back to base with them to infect their comrades. Beta was airborne as well as blood-borne, which meant they could spread it easily. It wasn’t supposed to be permanent or fatal. Just a bad rash and a flu-like malaise for a while, nothing more. Enough for our guys to get in, wipe them out and leave, or set up shop and take over.”

“Oh.” Rhys hesitated, trying to make sense of it. The kitchen had gone virtually silent, the attention of the strange soldiers a little disconcerting. “But wouldn’t that end up making our soldiers sick, too?”

Darius shook his head, giving Xolani an irritated look. “Alpha gave them immunity.”

“But the Rot is deadly. It’s not just a rash and a flu.”

“Yeah.” Xolani looked grim, zipping her pack shut with a hard jerk. “The live trial went to shit once it was deployed in the field. No one really knows what happened. Best theories are that it was influenced by another virus, something local to the region of Russia where Alpha was first administered to a battalion of test subjects—the Juggernauts, or Jugs, as they called themselves. Or possibly it was affected by radiation from all the uranium that ended up floating loose around there. At any rate, it didn’t do what it was meant to do. It mutated. The rash became necrotic lesions, and what was intended to be an exhausting malaise was so severe and debilitating that the infected victims were left pretty much catatonic, trapped inside their bodies while their tissues decayed. But before all this became apparent, some of the wounded, Alpha-infected troops brought it home when a bureaucratic snafu sent them back to the States to recuperate instead of into quarantine, so Beta started spreading back here as well. That’s when reports of the Gamma mutation first appeared. There were probably revs in Russia, too, the military just managed to hush it up.”

Rhys wiped a hand over his mouth, the nausea that had been plaguing him since he regained consciousness redoubling. He’d known the Rot was bad but hearing it described that way, it sounded a lot worse.

“Well, it’s wonderful you folks came along when you did!” Jacob said brightly. “Who knows what would have happened to me—us—otherwise.”

“What’s going to happen to us? Are you going to quarantine me and Jacob like you do the other survivors you find?” Rhys asked. That would be just great, stuck with Jacob alone without even Cady there.

Darius sighed. “We ain’t taking you back to base and putting you with the other survivors.”

Something in his voice made Rhys’ head snap up. “Why not?”

“Because there’s very little chance—statistically speaking, zero, really—that you’re not infected.” Xolani’s eyes were gentle, full of pity. “I’m sorry. You took a faceful of blood there, kid, and even if you hadn’t, you were in too close of proximity to those revs.”

“Oh.” Rhys swallowed hard. Everyone’s voices became fainter as a low humming grew steadily louder in his ears. His headache kicked up another notch with the increased force of his pulse in his temples. “I’m still going to die. Okay.”

There was something wrong with his numbed acceptance of that fact, though he couldn’t pinpoint exactly what. After all, he’d known he would die from the moment Father Maurice ordered him to use himself as bait to distract the revs so the rest of them could get away.

Then he looked up in alarm, the humming in his ears became an unnerving drone, a cold sweat prickling his skin. He felt dizzy and his head throbbed mercilessly.

“You have to kill us. Both of us. Now. We’re endangering you.”

Everyone shuffled.

What?” Jacob squawked in alarm and started protesting, but Rhys had no attention to spare for him. His eyes were fixed on Darius and Xolani, who were glaring at each other for no reason he could understand. His knees felt weak and he gripped the edge of a stainless steel table for support.

“Don’t worry.” Xolani never took her eyes off Darius. “You won’t infect us.”

The droning turned into a deafening klaxon and dark spots began to spread across his field of vision. Rhys’ whole body tingled like every part of him was falling asleep, except his head, which hurt so terribly he almost wished they would kill him.

“Oh. So, you’re Jugs.” He gave a short, hysterical giggle. “Guess that explains how you broke up the pews, then.”

The terra cotta tile floor leapt up to smack him in the face before he could decide what he thought about that.

Strain will be released in January 2014 from Riptide Books.

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#SevenSentenceSunday from Strain (#mmromance coming Jan 2014 from @RiptideBooks) – dissent in the ranks

You don’t honestly expect me to limit myself to seven sentences for #SevenSentenceSunday by now, right?

This snippet comes from a little later in the book, when Rhys (part 1 and part 2) and Titus are discussing a potentially volatile situation regarding Jacob within the unit Darius and Xolani command.

(As always, these excerpts are as-yet unedited. All mistakes are my own.)

“You should know he’s taking aim at Darius and Xolani. Trying to undermine them. He called her ‘that Arab bitch.’”

“Did he now?” Titus’ eyes, wrinkled with a perpetual sun-squint, glinted with amusement. “And just when I’d almost managed to convince myself stupidity isn’t a terminal illness. Well, she’s a Persian bitch, in the interest of accuracy. She ended up in the med corps during Iran because she could speak Farsi.”

“Huh. I didn’t know that.” Rhys pursed his lips. “So Xolani is a Persian name?”

“Nope. Zulu.” Titus laughed again, a deep, rumbling noise that sounded like boulders rolling down a hill. “Darius started calling her that when she joined Delta Company. Means ‘peace.’”

“Peace?” Rhys felt his eyebrows creep up and Titus laughed even harder.

“Well, he didn’t have a word for ‘will rip off your face and eat it with ketchup.’” After a moment he sobered. “I don’t mind saying your pal’s life expectancy just got a lot shorter, Cooper. He steps a toe out of line, I’ll be there to put a bullet between his eyes, if she doesn’t beat me to it.”

“I thought you weren’t allowed to mistreat the recruits?”

“Well, he’s not a recruit anymore, is he? Besides, who said anything about mistreatment? I’d kill him so fast, it wouldn’t even hurt. Much.”

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#TeaserTueday from Strain (coming Jan 2014 from @RiptideBooks) – Life at the monastery

Today for #TeaserTuesday, we’re going to explore what life was like at the abandoned monastery where 19-year-old Rhys Cooper has been sheltering from a deadly plague and its aftermath with his sister, nephew, and a handful of other survivors.

Here are the other #TeaserTuesday and #SevenSentenceSunday excerpts I’ve shared from Strain.

The Revenants
Meet Darius
Meet Xolani
Meet Rhys (part 1 and part 2)
Meet Jacob

As always with these snippets, the text is not yet edited. Any mistakes are my own.

“What happened to your knuckles? That’s not all from trying to punch out that other guy.”

Rhys looked down at his bloodied hand, red meat showing raw through cracked, bruised skin.

“Doesn’t matter. Won’t be happening again.”

“Think you can stand? Otherwise, if you want to sit in the shower, I can turn it on for you while I go find a blanket.”

“I can stand.” With her help, he pushed himself to his feet and staggered into the shower. The shredded remains of his clothing still littered the bottom of it. Jesus, his jeans must have really been threadbare if they’d just managed to rip wet denim off him like that. He leaned against the tile of the mildew-spotted wall and let Xolani turn on the cold spray.

“I’ll be right back. Try not to fall over.”

Nodding hurt too much, so Rhys just grunted and began scrubbing off the mud. The longer he was on his feet, the steadier he felt, until he got brave enough to bend over and pick up a scrap of his t-shirt to use as a washcloth.

She came back a moment later with another blanket like the one he’d lost when he attacked Jacob. Rhys turned off the water and wrapped it around him.

“Interesting marks there on your hips and thighs. Last time I saw a set of bruises that looked like that, they were on a guy who’d been beaten with a cane.”

Rhys flushed but said nothing, clutching the blanket tighter.

“The old man had a cane lying beside him where he died.”

He glowered and stomped out of the bathroom, trying to ignore her when she followed.

“I notice that guy you tried to clobber the shit out of wasn’t wearing rags like you were.”

“Yeah, well, he didn’t outgrow all of his clothes,” Rhys muttered. “I was twelve when we got here.”

“And how long ago was that?”

“Seven years.”

Why was she following him, much less asking all these questions? “And it was— what? Just you and your sister, and Jacob and his father?”

“No.”

“That’s right, there was the baby and a kid, too. Who else was here?”

He sighed in annoyance. He shouldn’t be so unfriendly to her—after all, she did help save his life, and stitch him up—but he really wished she’d stop probing for information about things that weren’t any of her business.

“My mom died a couple years ago,” he answered shortly. “We think it was cancer. She had some, uh, lumps. Gabe—Gabriel—ran away and his parents went to try to find him and never came back. Guess they must have all died, too.” Rhys grimaced, trying not to think of why Gabe had run off. “The eleven-year-old boy you found out there today was Gabe’s little brother, Jeff. When they went after Gabe, they left him behind here where he’d be safe. There was another family, too, in the beginning. The Merkles. Holly got appendicitis. Her dad committed suicide. Her mom was stung by a bee. Now we’re all that’s left. Anything else you wanna know?”

Xolani shook her head and took his arm without asking, helping him down the stairs. Her grip was really strong, but then, even though she wasn’t tall, her shoulders were broad and she had a solid, muscular build. A scar ran down her cheek, a light line puckering and pulling at the skin and making her look tough. Even without it, she wouldn’t have ever been called pretty. Darius was a lot bigger than her, but something told Rhys that if it came down to a fight between them, she could probably hold her own.

And she didn’t try to apologize or sympathize as he cataloged their losses. He appreciated that.

“Look, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be a jerk, and you’re being nice and all, but my head hurts and can we just not talk about all that?”

“Okay,” she said with perfect equanimity and fell silent.

Darius was outside—along with some of the others whose names Rhys hadn’t gotten yet—standing beside a large pile of scrap wood. Father Maurice, Jeff, Cady and Caleb were laid on top of it and Rhys had to swallow hard seeing them just draped limply like that. On the far side, Jacob was watching him with eyes that glittered with hatred, but Rhys couldn’t be bothered to care. All he could do was stare at the dark gold of his sister’s blood-matted hair hanging down.

When he drew near, he could smell kerosene fumes.

Darius grabbed a length of wood and lit it from the fire still burning the remains of the revenants. But before he could touch it to the other pyre, Jacob lifted his head and raised his voice dramatically loud.

“Dear Lord, we commend to you these loved ones, my father, wife and son . . .”

No mention of sister or nephew, of course.

“Oh, shut up.” Rhys snatched the torch out of Darius’ hand, setting the whole thing ablaze. The last damn thing he needed to hear was about God and heaven and salvation. After a moment of glaring, Jacob continued droning on, but Rhys didn’t hear the trite platitudes. The pompous voice was drowned out by the roar and crackle of the flames.

Strain is coming January 2014 from Riptide.

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#SevenSentenceSunday from Saugatuck Summer (coming May 2014 from @RiptideBooks) – Owning it

As usual, my #SevenSentenceSunday snippet is longer than seven sentences. In this passage, we have Topher, a 21-year-old, slightly gender-fluid college student, answering some questions from his BFF’s dad about himself and the reason he’s estranged from his conservative family:

I gave him a slightly self-deprecating smirk, taking a long drink of my zin before it got warm and bitter. “Well, it’s more just giving in to the inevitable, I guess. I mean, really, look at me. I’ve been pinging gaydars since before I knew what being gay was. I flamed as a freaking toddler. I sashayed before I could walk. This isn’t just me putting on a show, it’s who I am. It would be ridiculous for me to even try to be anything else. It is what it is, you know? Might as well own it.”

“Well, it should be self-respect,” Mo said fiercely, giving me a shake. “You got nothing to be ashamed of. You’re amazing.”

I shrugged uncomfortably, leaning my head against hers, almost forgetting Mr. Gardner’s presence as Mo and I fell into that sort of exclusionary, near-telepathic best-friend’s communion. She knew that I would argue that I wasn’t ashamed, but that I just hadn’t quite figured out how to truly mean it when I held my head up high, because my entire life, people had been telling me to keep it down and stop being an embarrassment. I was still in that “fake it ’til you make it” stage, hoping genuine pride would come if I pretended confidence long enough. For now, I was relying on bravado and a complete lack of give-a-fuck to carry me through.

Saugatuck Summer is coming in May, 2014 from Riptide. As usual, this excerpt is not yet edited. Any mistakes are my own.

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Belated #TeaserTuesday bonus from Saugatuck Summer (#mmromance coming May 2014 from @RiptideBooks)

Seeing Leta Blake’s post on her blog today, which is where she fulfilled my tagging of her in the 7/7/7 game over on Facebook, reminded me that I had made a post in response to being tagged and forgot to share it here. So consider this a bonus #TeaserTuesday post (I did post it on Tuesday, so there’s that.)

I think I will just quote the whole thing here, since I’m not sure people can see it on Facebook if they aren’t signed up for Facebook.

This snippet has not yet been edited, so any errors are my own. Saugatuck Summer is coming May 2014 from Riptide.

Okay, so I’ve been tagged by Kade Boehme for another round of 7/7/7. I have a hard time isolating 7 sentences that make sense, and I’m not sure about the 7 lines of dialogue rule (is that a new thing?) so I just decided to go with 7 paragraphs.

This is from page 170 of Saugatuck Summer, when Topher is reunited with a guy he hooked up with once before, Jace.

NSFW*NSFW*NSFW*NSFW*NSFW*NSFW*NSFW

It felt good, yes, but it was also incredibly intimate, covered like that, his body flush against my back. His lips moved slowly and gently over the back of my shoulders and his hands soothed up and down my arms. He began to rock into me with small rolls of his hips. Not hard, not deep, not nearly enough to drive me to the edge. Leisurely. Like he had all the time in the world to just be there, on me and in me.

I felt protected.

That thought scared me; I’m not sure why. Suddenly I was trying to buck underneath him, to lift my hips and thrust back, maybe even get to my hands and knees so he’d have to move off me.

“Shh,” he murmured. “Take it easy. We’re not in any hurry.”

“You might not be,” I choked. “Fuck me, dammit.”

“When it’s time,” he said patiently. No matter what I did, he refused to be rushed. Eventually my only choice was make him stop or go quiet beneath him and let him do it his way. Once I’d gone still, he began to pull his hips back a bit more, sliding in a little deeper and harder each time, though he kept up the undemanding pace.

“You don’t have to rush, Topher.” His voice was soft and hypnotic, barely more than a whisper, and so tender. His breath warmed the back of my neck. “Not with me. You don’t have to settle for getting off and getting gone because you think a quick, barely satisfactory fuck with someone who doesn’t give a shit is the best you’re entitled to. You’re better than that.”

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#TeaserTuesday from Strain (#mmromance coming Jan 2014 from @RiptideBooks) – Meet Jacob

For #TeaserTuesday today, I’m introducing Jacob Houtman, who is the common-law brother-in-law to 19-year-old Rhys Cooper (Meet Rhys, Part 1 and Part 2). Seven years before the story begins, Rhys, along with his mother and sister, found refuge at an abandoned monastery with a few other families, including Jacob and his fundamentalist dad, Father Maurice.

In the aftermath of an attack by revenants, from which Rhys was saved by Darius and Xolani, Rhys discovers that he and Jacob are the only remaining survivors.

(as usual, this excerpt is not yet edited and may be subject to change.)

Cadence and Caleb were dead and Jacob had managed to live.

Didn’t that just suck? If the revs weren’t going to chase and kill Rhys the way he’d intended, the least they could have done was gone after Jacob instead.

Rhys spared his so-called brother-in-law a disgusted look when he keeled over and began puking, then went back to contemplating what had been the last of his family. In a moment he’d start moving again. He’d help gather wood so he could do the proper thing and lay his sister and nephew to rest. Revs weren’t above scavenging fresh graves, so cremation was the best way to spare a loved one the indignity of becoming carrion.

He heard the guy in charge, Darius, bark something about getting Jacob washed off, but he couldn’t be bothered to care. If the Rot took Jacob, Rhys wouldn’t waste any tears. Jacob had agreed readily enough, after all, when Father Maurice had tagged Rhys to be bait, writing him off to save their own asses.

“Don’t know why we’re bothering,” he heard the grizzled guy over by the pump—had Darius called him Titus? What was with the Roman names, anyway? Was it a theme? Jesus, why couldn’t he focus on a single thought?—grumble to the woman who’d introduced herself as Xolani. “More trouble than this shit-stain’s worth. It could just as easily be the girl’s blood as rev. They were on her when the fucker ran off.”

It took a moment for the words to make sense, and then everything went hot and cold all at once. Sweat prickled and chilled as it erupted from pores all over Rhys’ skin; he could feel it running down his back to the crack of his butt. Everything in him clenched, like that flushed, crampy moment when your entire body seizes up just before the first wave of a bad case of the runs. He whipped his head around to stare at Jacob.

“You ran away?” This was it, then. This was what it felt like to lose your mind. Wow. You really did snap. Rhys was pretty damn sure he felt something physically break inside him. “They were being attacked and you left them?”

Then he was flying at Jacob, the half-healed cracks on his knuckles breaking open as he swung his fists. He drove Jacob out of the pump’s stream and into the muddy soil beneath it, screaming obscenities and trying to pummel him with far more rage than skill. Only Jacob’s shock and the insane force of Rhys’ anger gave him any advantage; he certainly didn’t have the stature, weight, or skill to take down Jacob otherwise.

“Get off me, you cocksucker!”

You left them!” Spittle flew from his lips and he didn’t care that he was screeching. His arms flailed, fists driving toward the body beneath him. He couldn’t even see Jacob for the red rush of fury blinding him. “I’ll kill you! You left them!

Jacob managed to flip them, driving the breath from Rhys’ lungs as he hit the ground. He didn’t bother to throw a punch; he just grabbed Rhys’ head and slammed it back, cracking it against one of the bolts on the thick steel pipe coming up from the well. Rhys saw stars, though he kept swinging blind punches toward Jacob as blood trickled down the side of his face and into the thick layer of mud-churned moss under him. He growled and snarled—sounding, he realized in some disconnected portion of his mind, like a revenant himself. His upper lip and chin were wet and he wasn’t sure if it was from the pump or if he really was foaming at the mouth.

I’ll kill you! I’ll fucking kill you!

What the fuck is going on here, Titus?

He barely heard Darius’ roar before Jacob bashed his head against the pipe again. Then everything went black.

Strain is coming January, 2014 from Riptide Books.

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#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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#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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#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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Today I’m over at Coffee and Porn in the Morning…

…sharing a scene from Velocity. Be sure to check it out!

Also, for those of you who read my last post, apparently Amazon and Barnes & Noble are both really on the ball this week. *cough cough*

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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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New Excerpt from Inertia and giveaway at Dark Divas Reviews!

Head over to Dark Divas Reviews to see why AJ is giving Inertia 4.5 Delightful Divas, and enter to win a giveaway! There you will also find an new free read, the steamy Kitchen Floor Scene from Chapter 13 of Inertia. Check it out!

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