Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I mentioned this last week, but the Backlist Strikes Back event at EM Lynley's blog is nearly over, so this would be a perfect time for you to go take a look and browse at the entire collection of authors' favorite backlisted books -- I know I've found several to add to my reading list!


I spent a big chunk of last night working on a graphic for promotional materials. I bought a LivingSocial voucher a couple of months ago for discounted stuff from Vistaprint, which is where I've had most of my promotional materials printed in the past.

Vistaprint lets you upload your own pictures to use, but they charge for each picture you use, so it makes sense to get all your disparate elements laid out separately, build it into a single image, and then upload that.

I've got business cards and I've done some note cards for individual books, but my current plan is to make some bookmarks. Alas, that's the one item Vistaprint doesn't actually offer; I'm having to order rack cards and plan my graphics to be doubled so I can cut them in half down the middle.

This is the current design (click to embiggen). I'm still trying to decide what changes I want to make -- bigger name? More color to the text? Different background image?

And what (if anything) do I put on the back? Not enough space for blurbs. A couple of good review quotes? More links? Author bio? A sexy B&W image?

What catches your eye on promotional cards and bookmarks and the like? And what, if anything, makes you actually consider checking out the product?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Masks Off! / The Backlist Strikes Back!

Several things to report today. First, I got news over the weekend that my story, "What You Are" was accepted for inclusion in Torquere's Masks Off! anthology (coming out in August, I believe) -- it's a collection of stories about shapeshifters (e.g., werewolves) and masquerades. *obligatory acceptance squee!*

"What You Are" is about Cory, a man living in two closets, equally afraid of being outed as a gay and as a werewolf. He sees a charity masquerade ball as his chance to let at least part of himself free -- but then the leopard with the sexy voice tells him, "I know what you are," and Cory is forced to flee, yet again.

I'll be sure to let you know when I have more details!

And in other news...

The brilliant EM Lynley is hosting a tour all this week called The Backlist Strikes Back! It's a collection of LGBT romance titles that have been out for a while and, perhaps, not gotten all the love they should. My Safe Harbor is featured today, but there will be other authors for the next whole week, so definitely remember to check it out as the week progresses! I've already seen several books to add to my TBR list, and I bet you will, too.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Assumption of Desire Reviews!

I'm starting to see official review sites posting reviews for Assumption, so I figured it was time to put up a post collecting some of them!

Jenre at Brief Encounters says, "This short contained lots of things I adore in a story. ...I was hooked by page one. ...There was lots more to enjoy such as the way the men switch roles in the bedroom – shown in a couple of well written and very hot sex scenes – and a general sense of fun and charm in the story itself. I smiled a number of times as I was reading and the book left me with a good feeling, which is always a bonus." (rated B+)

From Lucy at Hearts On Fire: "The story is sweet and flows well. There are a lot of pages of sex for such a short story, but as they aren’t right in a row, it’s a minor quibble. Jesse is a great character, because he is so much more than his outward appearance would suggest. Craig having to come to terms with what he wants is an interesting. His eyes open rarely slowly, but some of it is off page, happening in the three years they haven’t seen each other. It’s a quick, light, funny story with very likeable characters and a miscommunication that could actually occur. A very enjoyable read." (rated 4/5)

Mrs Condit at Mrs. Condit's Reviews says, "Assumption of Desire is a great story about making assumptions based on appearance and assumptions that things will never change. ...Craig has a lot of internal dialog to run through before he can become the man he wants to be, and Jesse has a lot of forgiving to do when Craig is disrespectful of the man Jesse has already become. This is a sweet, easy read with a lesson to teach. I liked the way Ms Brooks made four years fit into a short story without sacrificing any of the plot." (rated 4/5)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Picture via ABC News
I got the news last week that my short story "Dead On Her Feet" was accepted for Duty and Desire, an anthology of military-themed erotic romance! Any acceptance is good for a squee, but this is the second piece I've written that will appear in an actual, hold-in-your-hands dead-tree book, which makes it double-squee!

Better yet, I'll be sharing the Table of Contents with some really talented writers, including my dear friend, Lynn. Check out this Table of Contents:
The Long Ride Home by Delilah Devlin
Night Witch by Sacchi Green
Shattered by Shanna Germain
The Grunt and the Ditty Bop by Craig J. Sorensen
Fighting for Fresno by Ericka Hiatt
Homecoming by Kelly Maher
Passing Out Passion by Lucy Felthouse
Against the Wall by Catherine Paulssen
The Thunder of War by Anya Richards
Sergeant Rae by Toby Rider
Dead On Her Feet by Elizabeth L. Brooks
Out of Time by J.K. Coi
Done by Charlotte Stein
Wilco by Christine d’Abo
Christmas Presents by Mercy Loomis
Snake Dance by Lynn Townsend
Home by Michelle Augello-Page
For Better or Worse by Kristina Wright

This is from Cleis Press, so the stories are female-centric, either m/f or f/f. My story, "Dead On Her Feet" is about Jamie, a soldier on her way home after two years in the Middle East. Shall I give you a small taste? Sure, why not (though bear in mind that I haven't gotten editing comments back yet, so what I'm offering here may change before press):
Thirty-four hours on the move, now, and counting, dead on her feet, but this was the last flight, and her ears were popping with the descent. Maybe another hour, now, and then she'd step out of the Atlanta airport into the lush thick humidity of proper Southern air, maybe even one of those summertime afternoon deluges and she would stand there and just let the rain soak her right to the skin. And then she'd take a bus a couple of hours down into Georgia, to a tiny little town that no one had ever heard of who hadn't been born there, and then it was only a couple of miles from the bus depot to Casey's mama's house. To Casey.

Eyes still closed, Jamie's hand stole up to her shirt pocket where she kept the most important things: her passport, and the receipts for all those planes and busses, and her ID cards, and the cash she'd drawn to pay for food... and the picture of her and Casey at his sister's wedding two years back. She'd looked ridiculous in that bridesmaid's dress with her fresh-from-basic close-cropped hair and those mannish muscles on her bare shoulders, but Casey had looked so very, very fine in that tux, and he'd pulled her close while they danced and told her she was the most beautiful woman there, and they'd snuck off down to the basement and almost not made it back in time to see the cake cut, and luckily the tux jacket had covered where she'd got lipstick on his cummerbund.

Duty and Desire is due out sometime this fall -- I'll post a more precise date when I have one, and of course the cover when I get it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Swampy Waters

It's a good thing I finished my werewolf story when I did; immediately after I submitted it to the anthology I'd written it for, I had a world of work dumped on me.

A miscommunication dumped an editing job into my lap that had a shorter than usual schedule, resulting in my having precisely one week to edit a full novel. And then another short-schedule novel arrived in my inbox, this time for proofreading. There was Assumption of Desire's release last week. (By the way, countrygirlxxoo, you were my winner -- I messaged you but still haven't heard back... email me for your copy of the story!) That naturally involved spending a couple of days haunting Goodreads and Amazon.Com and other sites looking for reviews and ratings. I also signed up for a couple of promotional blog visits -- I spent yesterday at Torquere's blog (check it out; you definitely don't want to miss the hot pictures I posted!) and will be on their LiveJournal tomorrow!

(Assumption is being very well-received, in case you were wondering -- it's currently at a solid 4 stars on Goodreads, and 5 stars at All Romance Ebooks, where one reader review calls it "[a] quick, enjoyable read, with just enough drama and comedy for the short length." And if you follow my Facebook page, then you probably saw that it made one of Amazon's Top 100 lists!)

The Day Job dumped a bunch of work in my lap, too, of course, and then the home life has been mildly complicated by birthday parties and sleepovers and the approach of Easter with its need to acquire a variety of treats with which to fill my kids' baskets.

So I've been a little swamped, and the writing has taken a back seat to all the other stuff. Even on the nights I've had free and clear for writing, I've been too tired to write, and unwilling to start a new project when I can't really devote myself to it.

But there's a light at the end of the tunnel. The one-week edit is complete, and I'm pushing onward through the proofing job. The Day Job stuff is more or less in order, and there's a stack of candy and toys in my closet, hidden under old clothes. So I'm starting to give some thought to another submission call I heard a few weeks ago, this one for some super-shorts, under 1500 words, which strikes me as a fun challenge: how do I include plot and characterization and heat in only three pages? I've been noodling around an idea or two during idle moments, so we'll see how that goes.

So no real writing news from me this week. I'm fixin' to get ready to write, as they say, but not writing much at the moment. Still, the news on Assumption is good, and you definitely want to stop by Torquere's LiveJournal tomorrow, because I'm thinking of calling for prompts...