Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

BANE is now available for pre-order! @RiptideBooks #mmromance #post-apocalyptic

Bane_Teaser3D

Bane, the sequel to Juggernaut and Strain, is now available for pre-order at Riptide Publishing!

The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

Remember, Bane is the sequel to both Juggernaut AND Strain. While Juggernaut and Strain can stand alone (meaning you can read them in any order, though chronologically Juggernaut happens before Strain) you really want to have read them both before reading Bane. Also be aware that Zach and Nico’s story (from Juggernaut) doesn’t really get its happy ending until Bane, so you’ll want to read them both.

Be sure to tune in this Thursday, May 14, for the exclusive reveal of the covers for both Juggernaut and Bane over at JoyfullyJay!

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Coming this week: The JUGGERNAUT and BANE cover reveal!

Juggernaut_Teaser3DBane_Teaser3D

Finally, at long last, you’ll get your first look at the covers for my upcoming titles in the Strain series, Juggernaut and Bane (link for Bane is not yet active but will be soon)!

This coming Thursday, May 14, JoyfullyJay will be hosting the big cover reveal! Be sure not to miss it!

Juggernaut

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

Bane

The unstoppable weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

As you can see, Juggernaut is actually a prequel to Strain, though the two are stand-alone and can be read in any order. Bane is a sequel entwining storylines involving characters from both books. In order of release, the sequence will be Strain, Juggernaut, and Bane. In chronological order within the universe, the reading order will be Juggernaut, Strain, and Bane. Either way works.

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WIP-ish Wednesday: Zach’s Choice

Back before the release of Strain, I was posting regular snippets for writerly-type themed days like Seven-Sentence Sunday and whatnot, and I sort of got out of the habit of that. I thought I would try to get back into it.

Technically, Juggernaut isn’t a WIP, but I’m not going to restrict myself on those grounds. I’m just going to set Wednesday aside as a day to introduce people to characters and concepts from Juggernaut, Bane, and maybe some of my already released books they’re not familiar with.

For those of you who aren’t already aware, Juggernaut is a prequel, set roughly ten years before Strain, in which we see the events immediately preceding and following the apocalyptic pandemic from the perspective of two men who are tangentially involved in those events. For a nearly five chapter long excerpt please check out the Juggernaut product page at Riptide Publishing. (note: please read the warnings and additional details tabs and/or be advised that the excerpt may contain objectionable or triggering material.)

Juggernaut_Teaser3D

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

In this scene, rentboy Nico Fernandez has been sheltering in a garden shed in Zach Houtman’s backyard. Zach’s has held his zealot of a father, Maurice, off from driving Nico away at gunpoint. Now Maurice has locked Zach in and is trying to drive Nico away, and Zach is faced with a choice: does he stay and weather the post-pandemic world with his abusive father and brother, or does he risk the safety of numbers and shelter to strike out with Nico?

You can see last week’s excerpt here.

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Earth Day rebate on all my titles over at All Romance Ebooks @allromance #books

Today, All Romance eBooks is having an Earth Day special, offering a 50% rebate on most of their titles, including all of mine.

This means you can get Impulse: The Complete Trilogy for $4.00 after rebate. Same goes for The Professor’s Rule: The Complete Collection.

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover is less than $1.00.

Player vs. Player and Strain are $3.50 after rebate. And Saugatuck Summer is only $2.27

(again, these prices are after rebate, not upon checkout. You can turn around and use your ebook bucks to buy more books!)

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WIP(ish) Wednesday: McClosky’s Revelation

Back before the release of Strain, I was posting regular snippets for writerly-type themed days like Seven-Sentence Sunday and whatnot, and I sort of got out of the habit of that. I thought I would try to get back into it.

Technically, Juggernaut isn’t a WIP, but I’m not going to restrict myself on those grounds. I’m just going to set Wednesday aside as a day to introduce people to characters and concepts from Juggernaut, Bane, and maybe some of my already released books they’re not familiar with.

For those of you who aren’t already aware, Juggernaut is a prequel, set roughly ten years before Strain, in which we see the events immediately preceding and following the apocalyptic pandemic from the perspective of two men who are tangentially involved in those events. For a nearly five chapter long excerpt please check out the Juggernaut product page at Riptide Publishing. (note: please read the warnings and additional details tabs and/or be advised that the excerpt may contain objectionable or triggering material.)

Juggernaut_Teaser3D

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

In this scene, rentboy Nico Fernandez has just learned the “special jobs” he’s been doing for General Logan McClosky have had an unforeseen–and catastrophic–consequence.

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Read the first FIVE chapters of Juggernaut @RiptideBooks! #mmromance #dystopian

Juggernaut_Teaser3D

The excerpt from Juggernaut is now available at Riptide! Go, go!

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Now available for pre-order: Juggernaut, A Strain Novel

Juggernaut_Teaser3D

Juggernaut, the prequel to Strain, is finally available for pre-order at Riptide Publishing!

They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

Stay tuned for a reveal of the full cover art soon!

Zach and Nico’s story pre-dates Rhys and Darius’s, and the events of Juggernaut encompass the beginning of the pandemic for which we see the aftermath in Strain. Reading them in order, however, is not necessary. Both Zach, Nico, Rhys and Darius will ALL be back in Bane, the sequel to Strain (more news about that coming soon!)

More about the Strain universe.

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In observance of Free Fiction Friday, I give you tentative blurbs to JUGGERNAUT and BANE #Strain @RiptideBooks

So, those of you who have been paying attention have noticed me talking a lot more (and a lot less vaguely) these past few weeks about the upcoming novels in the Strain saga.

Nothing is official or written in stone yet. I’m still waiting on a contract and I have no idea what the release date for these books will be. But I do have titles and tentative blurbs (again, however, they’re not written in stone. Pretty sure the titles won’t change, but the blurbs might.)

Juggernaut is the first of the two books. It’s set roughy 10 years before Strain and chronicles the events immediately before and after the pandemic that wiped out humanity.

JUGGERNAUT

Nicolás Fernández, better known to the clients of his mother’s escort agency as Octavio Costas, is one of the most in-demand male escorts operating independently of the corporate brothel system. To General Logan McClosky, Nico’s willingness to use his skills to influence political decision-makers make him a valuable asset, one McClosky isn’t afraid to employ to get the green light to activate Project Juggernaut, his last, best hope for turning around a desperate military situation.

Zacharias Houtman is struggling with a crisis of faith. Dutifully, he left seminary and his dreams of starting his own ministry behind to study political science and become his father’s assistant and advisor as the Reverend Maurice Houtman moves into the political arena. But his father is no longer listening to his guidance, veering into malicious and hypocritical zealotry intended to thrill the masses, and leaving behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy.

When their disparate worlds unexpectedly collide, both Nico and Zach will find themselves unwitting instruments in the events that lead up to the end of humanity and civilization as they know it. But will they survive the aftermath?

Those of you who are paying attention may recognize a familiar name in there. Yes, Zach is the elder son of Father Maurice from Strain, big brother to Jacob. Several other Strain characters will make appearances in Juggernaut, as well.

I will warn you right now: Juggernaut does not have a HEA or even a HFN. You have to read Bane, the sequel to Strain, to get that resolution to Zach and Nico’s relationship.

BANE

For two years, Rhys Cooper has lived with Delta Company, the exiled super soldiers infected with the Alpha strain of the Bane virus, whose Beta and Gamma strains destroyed most of the earth’s population. His passionate, undefined relationship with Sergeant Darius Murrell has helped him begin to heal from the abuse, terror, and isolation of his adolescence. But despite frequent sexual exposure to the Alpha strain, Rhys hasn’t become a Jug himself.

Zach Houtman has spent the last twelve years separated from his Alpha-infected lover, Nico. He’s worked for the Department of Pandemic Research and Prevention to study Bane, but his true intentions have been a secret. The head of the DPRP has a far more sinister project, and Zach means to put a stop to it.

Encountering the young man Zach’s father and younger brother terrorized for seven years wasn’t part of the plan, but Rhys’s immunity may be Zach’s best chance to expose the DPRPs secret agenda. And a surprising discovery might finally allow Zach and Nico to be together—and maybe give the Jugs hope for a home and future at last.

So, there you have it. Again, a great deal of this is subject to alteration, but what has, for quite some time, been a rather amorphous project now has taken shape.

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STRAIN is a Rainbow Awards finalist! #mmromance #post-apocalyptic @RiptideBooks

rainbow awardsStrain has made it to the final round of the Rainbow Awards in the Gay Sci-Fi/Futuristic category! Yay!

Right then. Time to go work on the next two books in the Strain universe.

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The STRAIN blog tour drawing results

Congratulations to Trix, Valerie Davila, and Jen, whose names came up for the drawing of three copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy for commenting on the Strain blog tour. You should all have already received an email asking for your preferred format. If you haven’t received the email, check your spam folder, then contact me using the form on the “About” page here. Thank you so much for following the tour, and congratulations!

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The first week of #STRAIN: a recap #postapocalyptic #erotica #mmromance @RiptideBooks

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Friday wrapped up the Strain blog tour, but there is still time to comment and enter to win one of three copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy. Entries will remain open until February 28, with the drawing being held on March 1, so be sure to comment at each stop and leave contact information (you can leave a Twitter or Facebook ID if you don’t want to leave an email.)

I tried to structure this blog tour a little differently, making it like the extras on a DVD. Along the way, I shared not only a deleted scene and a sneak peek at Bane, the upcoming prequel to Strain, but also a lot of behind-the-scenes discussion of the world-building that went into Strain. Here’s a brief recap:

Part One: Project Juggernaut (The Jeep Diva)
Part Two: The Juggernaut Battalion (Pants-Off Reviews)
Part Three: Does a Sex Scene Have to be Sexy? (3 Chicks After Dark)
Part Four: The Women of Delta Company (Queer Town Abbey)
Part Five: Oh, But This Darling was Tough to Kill (a deleted BDSM sex scene at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews)
Part Six: Fluid Exchange in Strain (The Book Nympho)
Part Seven: A Sneak Peek at Bane, the prequel to Strain (Book Reviews and More by Kathy)

There were also a number of stoplight stops. Be sure to check those out as well!

Coffee and Porn in the Morning
Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess
TTC Books & More
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Also, in case you missed it, on Valentine’s Day, The Book Bella shared bonus content not only from Strain, but also from books by Lisa Henry/Heidi Belleau, Andrea Speed, and Reesa Herberth. As far as Strain goes, I wrote a brief scene that pre-dates Strain, dealing with Joe and Toby and the genesis of their relationship. Be sure to check it out!

Since it’s still February, I am still Riptide’s Author of the Month. That means you can find an interview with me at Riptide’s site, and get Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) for absolutely free! (it’s also available for free at Amazon, ARe and other retailers.) There are also significant savings on a number of my other titles, including An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2), The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, and finally, pre-sales of Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) and To The Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5) are only $0.99 each–67% off! If you pre-order at Riptide, you get to download the books two days in advance, which means they’ll be available at midnight this coming Friday!

Speaking of pre-0rders, Saugatuck Summer is available at Riptide now, as well, for 22% off. If you’re a reviewer, the ARC is also available at NetGalley, so go ahead and check that out. Saugatuck Summer is coming in May.

Whew! That was a lot of links.

On the professional level, I really don’t have much of a basis of comparison for how well Strain is performing. It has broken the Top 10 Bestsellers in Gay Fiction and the Top 20 in Sci-Fi > Post-Apocalyptic over at Amazon. Of course, seeing as how the book is a Riptide release, I have no way of monitoring sales in real time like I do with my self-pubs, except for the Amazon sales via NovelRank, which isn’t always accurate. I do know that it is much higher in the rankings at Amazon than any of my other releases have ever gotten, and has stayed there longer.

BestsellerIcon100X100 It has also made its way to #15 on the All Romance eBooks bestsellers list, which, again, is better than any of my other titles have done. And it is on the Riptide best sellers list for this month, along with three of the five The Professor’s Rule titles (no doubt that has something to do with all the discounts!) The reviews at Goodreads and elsewhere continue to be overwhelmingly positive. All in all, this has definitely been my most successful title so far, and I’m absolutely thrilled to see it doing so well. It was a long, hard slog to get this book to market, but I’m glad it’s finally here.

I’m sure I had something else to say about all this, but apparently I’ve lost track of what all I meant to say in this post. All in all, it’s been a great first week for Strain, and I’m thankful for all of you who have come along for the ride.

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The #STRAIN #blogtour, last day: catch a sneak peek at BANE, the prequel to STRAIN @BookReviewsMore @RiptideBooks #mmromance

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Today I wrap up the Strain blog tour over at Book Reviews & More by Kathy with a very special post: namely, the first chapter of the (rough draft) prequel to Strain, titled Bane.

While Strain deals with the aftermath of the apocalyptic plague, some ten years after it begins, Bane deals with its genesis. It looks at the political state of the world leading up to the catastrophic decision to implement Project Juggernaut, and focuses on a few pivotal people involved in the events leading up to and immediately following the beginning of the plague. You’ll meet some new players, as well as encountering a few familiar names from Strain.

This book is still very much a rough draft WIP–not even my editor has seen it yet–so anything in the excerpt I’m sharing is subject to extreme revision. So take it all with a grain of salt.

Author TM Smith is also hosting a spotlight stop, as well as sharing her review of Strain, so be sure to drop by her site as well. Remember that each stop you comment on qualifies you for another entry into the drawing for one of three ebook copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy. The contest will remain open until February 28, with the drawing to be held on March 1.

Finally, in an interesting twist, Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) has released over a week early at All Romance eBooks. It’s still available for pre-sale at Riptide, as well, and on sale at that, but if you want to get your hot little hands on it even earlier, here’s your chance! Also tune in the week after next for the Every Inch of the Way/To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #4 & #5) blog tour, during which Heidi Belleau and I will be sharing a complete bonus story from The Professor’s Rule, divided into pieces among the stops.

Thank you to everyone who has hosted and participated in the Strain blog tour. This has been an incredible amount of fun!

 

 

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The #STRAIN #blogtour Day 4: Fluid exchange @TheBookNympho and a deleted #BDSM scene @SinfullySexyB #mmromance @RiptideBooks

Today is a really exciting day on the Strain blog tour! I’m over at The Book Nympho with an article discussing fluid exchange and subverting tropes, and then I’m at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews with an entire deleted sex scene from Strain, complete with some heavy BDSM action.

Remember that each stop you join me at and comment gives you another chance to win an ebook copy of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy, so be sure to check these out. Also stay tuned tomorrow, for the final stops on the tour, one of which is the 4000-word sample first chapter of the (rough draft) of Bane, the prequel to Strain. This book is still a WIP so I make no promises about how much of this first chapter will change, but you’ll at least get a look at what’s to come!

Enjoy!

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A tardy #Strain blog tour update! Today @queertownabbey and ‏@MelanieMarsha10 #mmromance #blogtour @RiptideBooks

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Okay, so as most of you who have been following me on Twitter know from my copious whining, I’ve been laid low by the flu. While I can now breathe again and my sinuses are no longer squeezing my brain to pulp, I have developed a lovely cough that keeps waking me up, so I’ve spent most of the last two days trying to sleep. Which is why I’m a little late on today’s blog tour update.

Today, I’m over at Queer Town Abbey with an article on The Women of Delta Company. One of the major movers and shakers in Strain, and just general all-around badass, is Xolani, Darius’s second-in-command. God, I loved writing her. So I thought I would share my thoughts on Xolani and the other women of Delta Company.

Melanie M. at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is also hosting a spotlight stop for Strain today. Tomorrow she will be posting her review, as well, and I really can’t wait to know her thoughts, because her reviews are always incredibly insightful, whether they’re favorable or not.

Remember, each comment you leave at each stop along the way offers you another chance to win one of three ebook copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy, so be sure to stop by these sites, and also follow the rest of the Strain blog tour. The contest will be open until February 28, with the drawing being held on March 1, so make sure to share your thoughts!

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The #Strain #BlogTour Day 2! @DarienMoya @3ChicksAftrDark #mmromance @RiptideBooks

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Today, for Part Two of the Strain blog tour, I’m swinging by Pants-Off Reviews to talk  some more about Project Juggernaut, particularly what happened to the Juggernaut troops after the plague. After they overthrew the military government, the civilian population could turn their attention to rebuilding their lives, but not the Jugs. So what did they do instead?

I’m also stopping at 3 Chicks After Dark to discuss the uses of sex content in books. I had actually written this article (titled “Does a sex scene have to be sexy?”) before I read the advance copy of Janette’s review, but once I saw her review, it was so apropos to some of the remarks she made, I knew I wanted to share it there.

Finally, Jody at Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess has shared her review of Strain and is hosting a brief spotlight stop, where you’ll get yet another chance to register for the giveaway!

Remember that anyone who comments to the blog tour posts will be entered to win one of three ebook copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy, so be sure to share your thoughts and questions about the articles with me.

Check out the Strain Blog Tour schedule for more chances to enter. Please be sure to include some way to contact you with your comments (if not email, then a Twitter or Facebook ID will also work.) The contest will be open until February 28, with the drawing being held on March 1st. Good luck!

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Join me today @TheJeepDiva! #Strain #BlogTour #mmromance @RiptideBooks

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Today, for Part One of the Strain blog tour, I’m over at The Jeep Diva discussing some of the world-building behind Strain. In particular, this article focuses on Project Juggernaut, which started the plague that doomed humanity. The article can be found after Vanessa’s review of Strain, which you should definitely check out as well. 😀

Remember that anyone who comments to the blog tour posts will be entered to win one of three ebook copies of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy, so be sure to share your thoughts and questions about the article with me.

And just to give you another shot at entering, today Cup-o-Porn is also hosting a spotlight stop for the tour, so be sure to comment there as well!

Check out the Strain Blog Tour schedule for more chances to enter. Please be sure to include some way to contact you with your comments (if not email, then a Twitter or Facebook ID will also work.) The contest will be open until February 28, with the drawing being held on March 1st. Good luck!

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A moody #ValentinesDay ficlet from the Strain universe over @TheBookBellas @RiptideBooks

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So, the world of Strain is a dark and tragic place, and at the end of the world, when everyone you loved is gone, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have the same meaning as it does today.

Joe is one of the most enigmatic side characters from Strain, and for Valentine’s Day, I thought I would give a little insight into the start of his relationship with Toby.

There are no real spoilers here. This ficlet pre-dates the timeline of Strain by about five years. Forgive the formatting. I’m not sure why the paragraph breaks didn’t work there on their site.

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In a world with little hope and no rules, the only thing they have to lose is themselves.

Rhys Cooper is a dead man. Cut off from the world since childhood, he’s finally exposed to the lethal virus that wiped out most of the human race. Now his only hope for survival is infection by another strain that might provide immunity. But it’s sexually transmitted, and the degradation he feels at submitting to the entire squad of soldiers that rescued him eclipses any potential for pleasure—except with Darius, the squadron’s respected, capable leader.

Sergeant Darius Murrell has seen too much death and too little humanity. He’s spent a decade putting plague victims out of their misery and escorting survivors to a safe haven he can never enjoy. He’d rather help Rhys live than put him down, so when Rhys can’t reconcile himself to doing what’s necessary to survive, Darius is forced to save Rhys in spite of himself.

But with each passing day, it looks less and less likely that Rhys can be saved. And that means that Darius might soon have to put a bullet in the head of the one person in years who reminds him of what it means to be human.

Strain releases tonight at midnight for those of you who pre-order direct from Riptide! There’s still time!

Also stay tuned next week for the Strain blog tour, and a chance to win a copy of the Impulse Trilogy!

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Guess who’s @RiptideBooks February featured author of the month?

Yep, that would be me!

This means, of course, that a whole bunch of my titles are on sale this month at Riptide. You can get The Laird’s Forbidden Lover for 50% off ($1.99), An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2) for 25% off ($2.25) and–get this–pre-orders for Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) and To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5) are 67% off ($0.99!!!)

And, of course, there has to be a freebie! That would be Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1), free all month!

Also, pre-orders of Strain and Saugatuck Summer are both still 22% off, or $6.99 each. And the entire The Professor’s Rule collection is on sale at $8.97, 40% off.

So, uh, yeah, get it while the getting’s good, huh?

While you’re there, be sure to check out the interview I did for Riptide, where you can also get a little info on my upcoming projects!

Also, Kazza K. at On Top Down Under Book Reviews has named Strain her Book of the Month for February! If you haven’t read her incredibly generous review, be sure to do that! (caution: may contain spoilers)

So February is going to be a hopping month for me! Just over two weeks until Strain releases, and just over four weeks until TPR #4-5 release. Come along for the ride!

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One month left until Strain! #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

Strain_500x750

One month from today, Strain will be officially released. And remember, if you pre-order from Riptide, not only will you get to download it two days early (4 weeks from today, in fact) but you will also be entered in a drawing to win free Riptide books for a year.

If you’re not sure about Strain, be sure to read the warnings at Riptide, and also check out my Is Strain for Me? post.

 

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Is STRAIN for me? #mmromance #post-apocalyptic #dub-con @RiptideBooks

Strain_500x750

 

Coming February 17 from Riptide Publishing

So, in the past few days, I’ve been seeing a lot of people asking whether or not Strain is for them, because they want to read it but they’re not certain about the content. So I thought I would try to clear up some of the questions.

I’m not really giving any spoilers here; all this information is available in shorthand form in the Warnings and Additional Details tabs of the Strain listing at Riptide Publishing. Definitely check it out.

Even so, I’m going to put this beneath a cut.

Continue reading

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Lovely early #reviews for Strain @Goodreads #mm #erotic #romance #postapocalypse

As I mentioned before, Strain went up on NetGalley last week, and a couple early reviews have been posted to Goodreads, and they’ve been quite gratifying on a couple levels.

Ashley Williams of http://booknerdash.blogspot.com/ had this to say:

And though the theme of the book revolved around sex as a treatment for the disease (yes I did say sex was the cure!!!), it wasn’t, for me, the forefront of the book. It kept me flipping the pages the whole time.

I loved the post-apocalypse-zombie-ish setting that Gormley creates. You can visualize where you are, without getting bored by all the details. Speaking of details, she does an excellent job explaining the medical necessities behind the unorthodox treatment. They were actually believable!

That one does my heart a lot of good. When dealing with a book based on a fuck-or-die trope, there’s a significant danger that the fuck-or-die situation will come off as nothing more than an excuse to propel the characters into sex they normally wouldn’t have. This isn’t an unfair estimation, to be honest. In a lot of places–especially in fanfic circles dealing with slash and non-canon OTPs–the fuck-or-die trope is used for precisely that reason. I wanted to come at it from a different angle, though. I wanted to make the story not just about situationally-coerced sex, but about the desperate lengths people will go to in order to survive, and about the conflict a character might face when the thing that is saving his body from death is killing his spirit and soul. I wanted to examine the uneven power dynamics inherent in a situation where one character is reliant on another for their very survival, and explore just what is considered “unpardonable” when someone does horrible things in order to save someone else’s life.

Which made it doubly gratifying to read this review from Sue/DavinciKittie at http://gravetells.com:

Even though this story features a lot of sex, it’s not ABOUT sex or even about a D/s lifestyle. It’s about fighting for survival and the life-affirming connections you make with the people you trust to have your back. It’s about brotherhood and love and making the best out of a hard life, and it is haunting… absolutely beautiful. The emotional depth is so tangible, Strain is both heartwarming and endearingly painful, from vivid adrenaline-packed start to aching, bittersweet ending. Definitely a must read for fans of male/male romance!

Yes. Thank you, God. People are getting what I was trying to do and not assuming the “plot” is just a sex vehicle, which would be very easy to do at first blush.

So, yeah, I’m really thrilled with these two reviews, and I hope other readers and reviewers continue to get what I was trying to accomplish with this book. I am sure it won’t work for some people, that they will dismiss it as just being an excuse to get the characters into bed, but it’s nice to see that some people are looking past that at the deeper themes.

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Strain is available for pre-sale (22% off!) @riptidebooks #mm #erotic #post-apocalypse #romance

It’s finally here!

Strain is now available for pre-sale on Riptide’s website!

Rhys Cooper is a dead man. Cut off from the world since childhood, he’s finally exposed to the lethal virus that wiped out most of the human race. Now his only hope for survival is infection by another strain that might confer immunity. But it’s sexually transmitted, and the degradation he feels at submitting to the entire squad of soldiers that rescued him eclipses any potential for pleasure—except with Darius, the squadron’s respected, capable leader.

Sergeant Darius Murrell has seen too much death and too little humanity. He’s spent a decade putting plague victims out of their misery and escorting survivors to a safe haven he can never enjoy. He’d rather help Rhys live than put him down, so when Rhys can’t reconcile himself to doing what’s necessary to survive, Darius is forced to save Rhys in spite of himself.

But with each passing day, it looks less and less likely that Rhys can be saved. Which means that soon Darius might have to put a bullet in the head of the one person in years who reminds him of what it means to be human.

For some excerpts from Strain, be sure to check out the following previews I’ve posted for #SevenSentenceSunday and #TeaserTuesday.

Meet Rhys, part 1
Meet Rhys, part 2
Meet Darius
Meet Xolani
Meet Jacob
Meet the revenants
About Project Juggernaut
Life at the monastery
Dissent in the ranks

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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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#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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#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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