Thursday, September 27, 2012

Clogged Filters

In one of my favorite movie’s Desk Set, Katherine Hepburn’s Bunny is given an “intelligence test” by Spencer Tracy’s Richard Sumner. One of the questions is “Often when we meet a person something in particular strikes us: hands, eyes and so on. What do you notice?” With the perfect touch of suggesting that it’s a stupid question, Bunny answers “Whether the person is male or female.”

Throughout the rest of the test, Bunny’s flexible thinking, that she “associates many things with many things” surprises the analytic Sumner. As a film about the early days of computers, it’s a bit dated, but as a character study? As a way of examining how two very smart people can have a great deal of difficulty communicating, it’s a work of art.

When I’m working with characters, like the ones that are giving me fits at the moment, I try to keep make sure that their lack of effective communication is due to their own filters for the world and not just plain stupidity. (Though a character’s stubbornness can definitely make his filter look like stupidity, I must say.)

Those filters affect everything about my stories, including the level of convincing the character will need to make their happy ending work. In the end of Desk Set the computer that created their conflict allows Sumner finally away to make his feelings clear to Bunny. I hope the ending I’ve come up with for Gavin and Jamie will be equally satisfying. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Almost Available!

I know, I know. That's not nearly as exciting as "Now Available!", but I'll take it! Client Privileges will very shortly be available again from Amazon Kindle! Here's the official art work:

It's a little different from the draft I posted previously, but I like it even better. :-D

And here's a little reminder of what this book is about:

On the surface, Jonas Vaneau's life is ordinary: days working at the law courts; evenings relaxing at home with his cat; and countless Sabbath dinners with his parents and an endless string of potential brides. But his routine life cannot provide what he most desires--at least not as long as he must continue to pretend to be the person his overbearing parents want him to be.

An unusual encounter with a seemingly ordinary brothel client causes Micah Hartshorn considerable consternation. When Jonas inexplicably bursts past his emotional defenses, Micah finds himself involved in a drama that is far beyond anything for which his professional skills have prepared him.

Their mutual attraction grows with each encounter, but, foreseeing too many obstacles, both hide their true feelings. Jonas must face his parents before he can find happiness. Micah cannot imagine that Jonas could love him and at the same time accept his profession. As the men grow closer, all personal problems are swept up in political unrest when new laws threaten both men's livelihoods. When even greater troubles send Jonas's world spinning beyond his control, it's up to Micah to save him from his downward spiral--if he can.


I can't tell you how excited I am to have this book back out in the wild after a year of hibernation. Now it's just that last (hopefully short) wait for it to go live on I'll be back to post a link as soon as I have one.  In the meantime, I'm happy dancing! Whee!


ETA: Client Privileges NOW AVAILABLE at  Click here!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Now Available!

Sparks: A Tinder Story is now available from Torquere Press! I've been waiting for a chance to tell Morgan's side of the story, or at least part of it, so here it is.

Official blurb:

Chris and Morgan are back!

In this third installment to Tory Temple’s popular Tinder series, Morgan Daniels finally gets his turn to talk about what life is really like with a fireman. Chris and Morgan are still together and still happy, but Morgan’s underlying dislike for firefighters in general is threatening their relationship. When there is a bad accident involving Chris’ crew, Morgan’s deepest-buried fears are brought to the surface. Every negative thing he thinks is true of firemen has been illustrated… or has it? Help and support for Morgan comes from truly unexpected places, but the damage may have already been done. The truth may be realized too late.

Get your copy of Sparks: A Tinder Story to read about Morgan’s side of the story!

I was pleased with how this story turned out. I hope you guys can give it a try and let me know what you think. Happy Sunday!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Five things no one knows about me...

I thought I'd make a list of five things no one knows about me (except my characters.)

1. As soon as I dreamed up the character Nigel Gasp, I couldn't rest until I found someone who loved him like he deserves to be loved. I worry about things like that. Really. It keeps me awake at night.

2. The entire time I was writing the first draft of Stirring Up Trouble, I probably didn't cook at all. It was an entire book about Chefs and all I did was drive through fast food joints for an entire month. I wrote it quickly though, and worked on polishing it later. By then I felt I could leave the computer long enough to feed my family something other than junk food.

3. I speak enough Spanish that I might have attempted to write the Spanish dialogue in The Pharaoh's Concubine, but after careful consideration, I asked my pal Anna to help me, because I was likely to impart that school Spanish ambiance to the book. The really good cursing is me telling Anna what I wanted to say in English, and her calling her police academy student son to ask how to say it. LOL!

4. Crossing Borders was not the first book I ever wrote, but it was the first to be published. The first I ever wrote was a very vanilla story of two high school violinists in love, set across the backdrop of their high school orchestra. My mother was able to read it, and she said, "Wow. I read that. It's almost like a real book!" 

The Long Way Home was next, then Drawn Together, then Crossing Borders. By that time I was so punch drunk in love with writing, I was spending all my free time with my computer. I had an email address but no link to anything but LiveJournal. No social networking. No phone, no lights, no cable cars. I didn't watch television or Netflix films. I think of that year as the "time I spent in the glow of my desktop monitor, keeping the door shut against my family responsibilities." Writing was my Drug Of Choice. After that, I floated gently back to earth... Now my family takes the front seat, but it was "an affair to remember." :D

5. I have written a number of holiday stories, I Heard Him Exclaim, What Child Is This, Secret Light and A Picture Perfect Holiday. I think my favorite of those is Secret Light. I've said many times that I took positively shocking liberties with my father in that book. 

Everything about the character is my dad, everything he does, everything he says, how he thinks and feels about family and faith and friendship. The only difference is to my knowledge my father was not gay. I loved Rafe Coleman so much. I wanted to give him the happiest of happy endings. I wanted to tuck him in on that final page with enough love to last an eternity.

Even though it was the fifties, and he had to live with his lover in secret, I believe in their happily ever after and I know it only got better over the years. Good night, sweet prince. RIP.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Please Allow Me to Introduce Mr. Gavin Prescott Montgomery

Update: I have a release date for the next Bad in Baltimore book. It's called Bad Attitude and is scheduled to hit the digital shelves on April 23. 

It features Jamie who was introduced in Bad Boyfriend, In fact, Quinn and Eli might just owe their happiness (and awesome sex lives) to Jamie’s suggestion that Quinn select an outrageous date for the baby’s baptism. It might be fairly easy to connect the title to Jamie, to whom Eli referred as “ginger and short” and who told Quinn, “to ball his brains out” with Eli “but leave love and marriage to the hets.”

So you might be wondering who would put up with Mr. Attitude? Someone with an attitude of his own. On the surface, Gavin might seem to be a poor little rich kid—

Gavin: Excuse me?
KA: You know you have issues with your family and—
Gavin: “Kid”? I’m thirty-five.
KA: *lowers voice* You do still live at home, hon.
Gavin: I’ve been working on that. I was about to buy that condo when—you know I’m the only one who will make sure Lily gets enough rest. I can’t just leave now.
KA:  And focusing your attention on your step-mother and her pregnancy is not at all about how utterly empty your life feels.
Gavin: *mocking smile* I find ways to console myself. Really, my dear, four straight chapters of sex? Who is overcompensating here?
KA: You guys were due. I do have to have some erotica in my erotica, you know.
Gavin: Whatever you say, of course. It didn't exactly happen the way you or the intense Mr. Donnigan thought it would, did it?

So, see what I mean? I’m not exactly sure who has the titular attitude.

Gavin Titular? You love having a character with my vocabulary. Slide in an obfuscatory. Go on. Antedeluvian. You’ve been dying to do it.
KA: Go back there and wait for me. And don’t keep wandering off my synopsis.

I’ve got my hands full y’all. I’d better get back to them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rerelease cover art!

I'm working hard to get my novel, Client Privileges, back on the ebookshelves. Towards that end, I've been working on new cover art with a friend of mine. Here's what we have so far.

I'm no graphic artist, but I think it's pretty. What do you think?

Okay. Back to the grind. I'm re-reading the manuscript since it's been a while and I want it to be perfect for everyone. Such a rough life. ;-)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Torquere Press's ninth anniversary!

Anyone know what the ninth anniversary gift traditionally is?  

Leather, something near and dear to the hearts over there at Torquere Press.
To celebrate their 9th birthday, they're having gift basket prizes, blog posts from some of your favorite authors, and the grand prize, a brand-new Kindle Fire to say thank you for all your support over the years and to highlight the wonderful authors who bring us such amazing stories.

Check their blog, where they'll be hosting a new author every day. They'll post excerpts, hang out to chat, and talk about their books. In addition to the grand prize of the Kindle Fire, they're giving away gift baskets every week! Some are silly, some are smutty, and all are fun.

What do you need to do to win? Just visit their site HERE, fill out the online form, and they'll randomly choose a winner for the Kindle Fire from all of the entries. Plus, during the month, multiple readers will have the chance to win a Torquere gift certificate and a gift basket.

I'm proud to be an author at Torquere and so thrilled they're publishing the third installment of Tinder later this month. Go check out the anniversary happenings and see what you can win!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Are You Ready?

The nights have been cooler, even chilly, but the days still strive for 80s or more. Preseason football games have showed us a bunch of guys who will probably end up on the practice squad, the bench, or back at their day jobs. The biting, dive-bombing, ear and mouth loving bugs are dying off. And I have a week off from work.

I love the fall. Sure, according to the calendar, it’s not fall yet, and we’re still due another hot and humid heat wave, if not two, but to me fall starts with the football season.  Football is the only sport I truly enjoy watching. It’s not just for the easy jokes about tight ends, penetration, and going long either. I enjoy the competition, the rough hits, the incredible catches, and the choreographed plays on both sides of the ball.

I also love this time of year for the hiking. Yesterday it was brutally hot, but today, the thermometer has barely moved since the sun rose. There are no Patriot games until next Sunday, but there’s a cool, crisp day out there inviting me on a lazy hike through the woods behind the high school where it’s easy to forget there’s a highway and a city nearby.

Labor Day heralds in the changing of the seasons for me, and a change to a season that returns me to my mental and spiritual home: Mother Nature. Now if only we had a game this weekend, it’d be the perfect start to vacation.

Are you ready for some football? 

Yes. Yes, I am.
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