Friday, December 31, 2010
And what a year it’s been. Lots of my writer friends had terrible years. People laid off, illnesses, houses got flooded, and the wretched economy in the US, UK and most of Europe doesn’t make things any easier.
Against that, though, many bright spots for readers and writers: ebook sales are up. We learned the shocking/exciting number that Amazon sold more ebooks than hardcovers (granted, who buys hardcovers anyway?). The Kindle 3 launched and shifted a huge amount of units all year, and most at Christmas. Every day, hundreds and thousands of readers join the e-reading part of the population.
And there’s more fun on the horizon.There’s the iPad (I’m foregoing one until it becomes a writing machine – proper software to do some heavy lifting in terms of getting words out), but that’s only one of many tablets. Five years from now, we’ll have a lot more interesting shiny gadgets on which to read and write. Part of why I want to grow really, really old? I want to see what technology comes out and goes mainstream. I’m a gadget hound. I love technology.
Going over my own last year’s resolutions, I got 80% of the important stuff (I didn’t go to the gym as much as I’d planned, though). I finally bought my house. I moved in and got all the bits and pieces into place. I left a job that bored me to tears and got a great job that paid a little more and taught me a huge amount of valuable skills. As the year turns, I’m leaving that job and go work for an investment bank for a lot more moolah.
Creatively speaking, 2010 was awesome. Last year at this time, I had one story out, “Deliverance” in “Forbidden Love”. Now it’s twelve. Yes. Eleven more. I had almost one release per month (I slacked off in December, I admit). Five of those are novellas, four are short stories, two are full-sized novels. Two more novels slated for 2011 (“Scorpion” with Dreamspinner Press and “Father of all Things” with Carina Press).
In 2010, I was dragged, almost kicking and screaming, onto Facebook. I blogged. I got this guest blogging gig here, and I just started another guest blogging gig at Savvy Authors.
More importantly, I met people. Loads and loads of people. Now, I can get people fatigue. I am, believe it or not, an introvert. I’m probably the most extroverted introvert you’ll ever meet, but it was great to meet so many readers (Amora and Marcie and Tina and Britta and Karen and Arzu and Kate and all the others over at Goodreads), new authors (life’s good when there’s talent out there like Rachel Haimowitz, A M Tuomala and Rhianon Etzweiler), and I’ve been reading and reviewing and generally found my rhythm. I write more and better than ever before in my life – unless I’m blocked 6-7 weeks, which happens, but it’s no big drama.
I’ve gathered the strength to look at all my failed novels (aka, I now have the courage to open that big drawer with all the HORROR inside). The financial thriller trainwreck. The menage that isn’t quite an espionage story. I feel I can tackle all that now and fix it.
As the year turns, I’m nervous about starting work at the bank (writer meets financial industry. I think it might be hilarious - or painful).
I’m working on the edits of “Break and Enter”, which I co-wrote in a couple days (find an excerpt here).
I’m working on two novels at the same time. Still the WWII novel and the sequel to “Scorpion”. I’m heading off in a few minutes to have breakfast with my partner at a very nice, non-chain cafe that recently opened in my city.
When my partner asked what I wanted to do for New Year, I said I am completely happy to write all day, then pause at midnight, get a vodka orange, stand at the window that looks out over the park (or street), watch the fireworks, toast to the new year, and then sit back down to write.
As to 2011, I just expect more of the same, only better.
Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Lucas McKenzie figures spending the holidays with his annoying roommate's family is better than being alone on campus. The last thing he expects is to lust over Sam's brother -- or for Nate to actually want him back.
They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can't keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate's only looking for a bit of holiday fun, and amazing sex with a hot virgin definitely fits the bill.
Yet as the candles burn, Nate and Lucas begin to realize eight nights will never be enough.
Hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday season! Wishing you all a very happy 2011.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Deleted prologue from Chicken Ranch: Hunger
Declan Mayo shivered in the dimming light of evening. Although it was warm, he felt chilled to the bone. Huddling against the unyielding back of a park bench, his mind spun with the implications of what it meant to be homeless.
The day had started out much like every other had since he'd graduated high school the previous June. He'd gotten up, and taken a shower. After breakfast, he dragged his tired ass outside to mow the lawn so his father wouldn't shit a brick when he came home from work. All the while, with the scorching July sun beating down on his shoulders and the self-propelled lawn mower vibrating under his palms, Declan made plans for the future. In three weeks, he would finally leave for college and he couldn't wait. The fear of a single misstep around his old man, and suffering the subsequent consequences, was beginning to wear on him.
His father hadn't always been such a hard ass. Declan had more good memories than bad about his childhood. However, following the death of Declan's mom the year before, Abe Mayo had grown cold and distant. More often than not, he was drunk or well on his way to intoxicated.
For Declan, it like living with a stranger. He walked on eggshells, waiting for his father to blow up in response to any one of many perceived wrongs that had never bothered the man before. Bidding his time and dreaming of the freedom he would have at college was the only thing that kept Declan's mouth shut and his demeanor respectful. Since he was depending on his father to pay his tuition, Declan knew better than to piss him off.
All that came to a head when his father came home from work and riffled through Declan's things in search of a fresh set of batteries for the remote control. Declan came inside to find his father sitting in the recliner facing the door with a beer in one hand and a handful of Declan's dirty magazines in the other.
The screaming match that followed caused their nearest neighbors to call the police. A cruiser pulled up just as Declan was leaving. His cheek stung with the evidence of his father's disapproval. With his father's accusations ringing in his ears, Declan slipped off the property and walked toward town. He didn't know where he was going or what he would do, but he couldn't stay home. His father had made his feelings on homosexuality quite clear.
Declan clutched to the backpack containing everything he owned. A blast of wind ruffled his hair and sent a shiver down his spine. His gaze darted around the abandoned park, seeking answers he wasn't likely to find in the curve of a solid oak tree or the sway of a deserted playground. Shadows closed in on him; the rapidly dwindling light made them appear larger and menacing.
Thunder rumbled, followed by a bright flash of light across the inky night sky. Fat beads of rain tumbled from above, splattering Declan with tear drops as clammy as the ones spilling down his cheeks.
What am I supposed to do now?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Someday I should learn to shut my fucking mouth. It’s almost Christmas and, dude, Joe’s place just seems so sad without a tree. So, I’d been bugging him about getting one.
With Joe sometimes you have to push him to get him moving. But I have to push without pushing too much. ‘Cause, like, if he digs his heels in, the subject is done. So the other day I was bugging him again without being too obvious.
We’re up early…since I’d spent the night and Joe hates it when I sleep in. So I was standing in front of the big window drinking my coffee and staring out at the snow that fell during the night. I kinda turned around, looked over my shoulder at him. “A tree would look great right here.”
That thick country drawl hit me. “What do I need a tree for, Kabe?” He mumbled over his oatmeal. Glared at me across the room. “I ain’t got nothing to put under it.”
Holy shit, no fucking presents? I didn’t say that out loud, ‘cause then he’d have gotten pissed. “Doesn’t your family exchange gifts?”
“Naw, most cain’t hardly afford to.” He shrugged like it didn’t mean anything. “They got kids, they rightly spend the money on them.”
“You don’t do anything with your family?”
“Cards.” Joe pushed back from the table and crossed his arms over that big chest of his. “If my folks were ‘round, if I weren’t working, I’d go over there on Christmas Day.”
“Go to church with them, huh?”
He looked at me weird, “Not unless’n Christmas fell on a Sunday.” After he scraped the last bit out of his bowl, Joe added. “My momma usually get’s me a shirt or something.”
I wandered back to the kitchen. “That’s depressing.” As I passed the table I got his dishes too. “Really, depressing.” I mumbled while I washed his bowl and my mug. I figured at that point I ought to just drop the subject.
“It ain’t but what it is.” He shrugged as he got ready to head out to the station.
And that’s how it got left. Until yesterday that is. I’m at the ranch, in bed with half a dozen blankets on ‘cause it’s fucking cold up here. Woke up to someone pounding on my bedroom door. When I checked the clock it said four in the morning. I was about ready to yell something about if the house wasn’t on fire when T called out. “Kabe,” T cracked the door open and leaned in as I sat up, “Joe’s here. Says you got somewhere to be today.”
“Better dress warm.” Joe added from somewhere down the hall.
Anybody else, I’d have told them to go fuck themselves. Not Joe. I bitched, but I got up and dressed. Came out carrying my boots and caught one of those sights. Joe has no clue how goddamn hot he is. Big country boy in tight blue jeans, thermal undershirt and plaid shirt tucked in and belted. His buzz cut just gives him a stern air. I liked it. Almost wished we were at his place so I could show him how much I liked it.
So he hauls me out and hauls me up the mountain. When I’d asked him where we were going, I got, “If’n you’re gonna make me do a tree then I might as well do it right.”
Now, it snows up here. Like three, four feet deep in some places. And we’re slogging through the snow, our breath freezing in mist clouds around us. Joe’s carrying this big old ax across his shoulders and I’m hauling rope. Looked like Paul Bunyan, or something, in his old style field coat and broken in cowboy hat.
I’ve never cut down a Christmas tree before. To me, getting a tree means drive over to the lot, pick out nice one, strap it to the top of your car and drive home. No. We cut the damn thing down. With a fucking ax. Do you know how hard it is without a chain saw? But you can’t carry a decent sized one on a five mile hike. I worked up a sweat like you wouldn’t believe. Then we tied ropes around the base and drug it all the way back to his truck. He didn’t even get on me for swearing on the way back.
“Well, it does look right fine there.” He’d admitted when we got it all set up. Not a big tree, but nice. There wasn’t much but some lights we picked up at the local hardware store and a few ornaments Nadia brought over. She was in the kitchen popping some corn so we could make a garland. As long as no one made me spray paint pinecones, I could deal with that bit of country.
“So.” He wrapped his big hand around the back of my neck. “There gonna be something under it, come Christmas?”
“Sure.” I leaned into him. God, it’s like snuggling with a cuddly brick wall. “What do you want Santa to bring you?” I mean, I’d gotten him something already…naughty bought on-line. Big old leather paddle that I figured he’d enjoy. Well, I’d got it for myself too. That’s what Christmas was about: sharing the fun.
Joe snorted then moved close and rubbed his dick up against my ass as he whispered. “If I gotta tell you, you’re dumb as a stump.”
I am certainly not dumb.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Happy Holidays to everyone!
Monday, December 20, 2010
I hope these pictures add some inspiration to your life and holiday season.
I've got a couple more decorative men on my blog: http://martyrayne.blogspot.com/
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Torquere Press is having a 12 Days of Smutfest Sale! And not only that, each day there are authors who are posting snippets of their books depending on the theme of the day. So far they've had BDSM, menage, vampires, shapeshifters, cowboys, uniforms.... you do not want to miss this, trust me. I posted on cowboys day and uniforms day. That is a surprise to no one, I'm sure. Go check it out and buy yourself something nice!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Passing this along to any interested writers of M/M.
Now in our sixth year of providing quality erotic romance and women's erotica to discerning readers, Phaze Books is working to build our presence at Mid-Atlantic Pride events. In the past, our authors have attended Roanoke Pride, the Gay and Lesbian Book Festival in New York City, and Saints and Sinners in New Orleans. Our books have been shelved in GLBT bookstores around the US, and our editors have sat on GLBT panels at Authors After Dark.
We invite authors of gay and lesbian erotic romance and erotica to submit works of 15K words and higher for inclusion in our growing catalog. We want characters who provoke the reader and each other, romance and conflict that turn pages, and explicit sex that forces readers to wear oven mitts while holding their e-readers!
We definitely welcome sub-genres, too! In 2011 we will release our first steampunk M/M anthology, and we are definitely interested in more of this genre. We'd also love to see more historical, BDSM, same-sex menage, futuristic and shape-shifters...even interracial! Take your HEA couple on a wild ride and show us your best work.
The standard no-nos apply (no incest, pedophilia, positive rape, bodily waste fetishes) and interested authors are invited to visit our guidelines at http://www.Phaze.com for formatting details.
When you're ready, submit your cover letter, completed novel, and synopsis/marketing history to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Hot holiday romance available now from Loose Id!
With a birthday near Christmas, Ryan’s learned to compromise. He loves a straight friend who won’t reciprocate his feelings, and holds a boring job to afford college. At the end of the week, he vents his frustrations through his webcast Alone Time with Ryan. He’s careful not to name names - particularly since each webisode ends with a mock masturbation session.
Greg seeks a fresh start in a new home, but wasn't counting on the holidays being lonely. When gorgeous, young Ryan shows up on Greg’s doorstep, it's a warm ray of light on a cold winter’s day. Greg's attracted, and tempted, but as youth director at the local recreation center, he must conduct his private life carefully. Seducing a college student seven years his junior isn’t the wisest choice, no matter how hot Greg's fantasies are growing by the day - or night.
When Ryan's ode to December birthdays goes viral, his show becomes an overnight sensation, but with exposure comes consequence, and Ryan’s Sagittarian wits won’t get him out of this one. When he turns to Greg in a moment of need, both men must face the consequence of their passion, making for one steamy winter.
A "Not Quite Christmas" story from Loose Id!
Read an excerpt and buy the e-book at:
Monday, December 13, 2010
Book III in the Reckless series
Beau Bradbury has it all. He’s good looking, owns a lucrative business, and has an endless supply of hunks vying for his attention. His skinny, uptight personal assistant shouldn’t rate a bleep on his radar. Nevertheless, there’s just something about Adam that Beau can’t resist.
One night of drunken passion leads to nearly a year of secret trysts during office hours. Adam keeps his private life confidential, while Beau pretends to want nothing more than a good time. It’s a good arrangement, until a simple phone call ruins the status quo and makes Beau green with envy.
Frustrated that Adam might be seeing someone else, Beau tries to put his attraction to the younger man behind him. However, all that changes with the introduction of Adam’s son. Instantly smitten with the sweet little boy, Beau is all the more driven to claim Adam for his own. All he has to do is convince his wary lover to open his heart and trust that there’s more to Beau than his playboy persona suggests.
The story whose removal sparked the discussion was an erotica title called Wicked Lovely by author Jess C. Scott. The tale dealt with incest, and involved a love scene between a 17- and an 18-year-old. However, Amazon would not tell Scott specifically what caused the removal of her novel. The only response she has received, after repeatedly trying to contact Amazon for more information, is a form letter.
In addition to Jess Scott, Selena Kitt and Esmerelda Green have also had books with an incest theme recently banned from the site. All of them, incidentally, high in the rankings and in visibility. Selena even reports a print book missing, a title which she published through Amazon-owned Createspace.
To be perfectly honest, I'm now waiting to see how long it takes Amazon to yank down a few of my stories. I'm sure those of you reading this know exactly which stories I'm referring to. Frankly, I'm just wondering what's next. Will all erotica books be removed or just though published through small press? I'm sure they won't touch the mainstream erotica. *rolls eyes*
You can read more by clicking HERE and HERE.
Or if you'd like to help spread the word, file a complaint, or request a refund for one of the books that have been yanked with no explanation from your Kindle archive, here's a little pertinent information to help you achieve your task.
You can post on Amazon's board about it here (as long as they don't delete the thread):
You can tweet about it using this tag: #amazoncensors
Utilize whatever you can - Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Jeff's Bezos direct address (head of Amazon)
1200 12th Ave, Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98122
Executive Customer Relations:
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Yay! My tenth book is out. And here it is, all shiny! Not Knowing Jack
I'd tell you about it, but the blurb and the excerpt are better at that than I am in a rambling blog post. It's an angst-fest with hot sex and an HEA, what more could you ask for.
So, I suck at this celebration thing. I couldn't even get this blog up in time because my netbook is having a nervous breakdown and trying to get me to have one in sympathy. I thought of doing some kind of cool contest, but I suck at those because I have no organizational skills. Over at jessewave's blog on Friday, she plans to have a review and I'll be giving away a copy of Not Knowing Jack but that's because she'll be organizing it, thank heavens.
The only thing I can do that I know some of you like is to write stories. So to thank you all for making it possible for me to say things like, "Yay, look at my tenth book release" I've put up another chapter of my WIP which is under contract and a smidge away from turned in. Chapter 2 of Bad Company
And now, I'm going to go finish number eleven.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Which is your favorite Bond man?
Sunday, December 5, 2010
There's been a recent resurgence in the Queer as Folk fandom over on Livejournal. QaF(US) is ten years old this month! Man, I sure wrote a lot of fanfiction in those days. There's a meme going around over there that I decided to participate in. Well, mostly participate, since pretending I'll be able to complete a 30-day meme is ridiculous. In any case, I answered the first question today.
QaF 30 Day Meme
Day 1 - How did you come to Queer as Folk and the fandom?
I thought "WELL WELL SHE MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING HERE."
I watched, I cried, I cheered, I loved. Then I read some fanfic - maybe DeAnna Zankich's? - and I thought, "I can write that."
So I did. (Urk, please excuse all awkward POV changes and OOC moments. I got better.)
Any other Queer as Folk fans out there?
Friday, December 3, 2010
So. Giveaways. Amora/Amara over at her blog sponsors a giveaway of "Transit". I'm sponsoring a second copy, so there's the chance to win two. Just read the excerpt and answer the question.
Here's some more info on "Transit".
Next one on the list. I'm giving away HARD COPIES (yes, actual paper/print books) of "First Blood".
I got five copies, nobody needs that many, so I'll sign them, wrap them in Christmassy paper and off they go. I ship globally, even though that might end up costing an arm and a leg, but hey, it's Christmas and I don't believe in being cheap. So all readers from Ulan Batar to the remote villages of Canada are more than welcome to enter.
If you're not a member of Goodreads, you can still post there, but I'll need an email address. After all, I'll have to get in touch to get your real world address so I can post the book.
Contest ends MONDAY.
That's it from me this time. See you in two weeks. :)
Thursday, December 2, 2010
The official homepage for DADT The Film can be found here:
And if you'd like to pledge funds to help get the film off the ground, go here:
Best of luck to you, Naomi!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
by Zoe Nichols
It’s been two months since Asher’s boyfriend, Derek, lost his bar to a fire and Derek only seems to be slipping further away into a private hell. Lost and watching his boyfriend fade away, Asher fights helplessness while Dean tries to keep them all from falling apart.
The threesome has been sliding south since Derek slipped a promise ring on Asher’s finger, drawing a line in the sand no one can miss. Tension erupts, and Asher and Derek are left to fit the pieces back together, scared that they no longer fit without Dean. Guilt-ridden, Asher and Derek fight like hell, pushing each other to the breaking point. Can they find a way to keep love from sliding into something like hate?
"What?" I could feel myself gaping at him. "What the hell are you talking about?"
He shot forward, startling me into a backward run, but his hands closed around my arms, almost hard enough to hurt, and jerked me to a stop. "You idiot, it was never just about my bar." He shook me gently, despite his fierce grasp. "It's about you. It's always been about you."
I stared. I could hear Dean in my head, on a cold winter night forever ago, saying much the same. But I fought anyway. "You're confusing me. None of this is about me. You're the one who said you weren't ready to open another bar."
Derek snorted, dropping my arms. "Because I'm scared shitless that it'll happen again. I almost lost you. You, not my bar. Fuck, yes, I miss it, but you're so much more important." His hand shoved through those haphazard blond spikes. "If you'd died, I'd have died right fucking with you."
My brain still couldn't wrap around it. I mean, I knew he'd worried, but still... "But I'm right here." I frowned, waved a hand. "See? Alive."
"Yeah, but you almost weren't." I stalled at that, but I guess he didn't see because he started pacing, hands moving. Drilling his point home. "I sat in that hospital for three days, watching you fade in and out. Knocked out clean, God knows how you managed to avoid a fucking concussion. Going out of my mind because it happened in my bar, my bar and I didn't stop it in time."
My heart thundered in my ears, and a huge chunk of me was calling myself nine kinds of a jackass. I groaned, covering my face with my hands. "Shit, Derek. I didn't even think of that." Made perfect fucking sense. Put in his shoes, with him the one recovering, I'd be a mess,too.
"Of course you didn't. Because I'm a selfish fuck, right?"
I jerked my hands away from my face only to have my glare shut down by the tired look in his eyes. I sighed, dropping my hands and bowing my head. My hair spilled forward and created a curtain, blocking me from him. The silence that fell between us was tense but fragile, like a glass sculpture with a crushing weight hanging above it.
What could I say to that? I'd all but accused him of it, hadn't I? My stomach twisted around that jagged bit of truth.
Holy shit, I was such a dumbass.