Cover Love and an Excerpt Available

There was a cover reveal last month, but there wasn’t a single comment on the post, and I feel like L.C. Chase deserves a lot more credit for the gorgeous cover she created for Book 2 of the Oddities series, Fraud Twice Felt.

So I’m featuring it on my blog here, along with a link to the excerpt that is now available on the book’s page over on Riptide.

Featuring prominently on the cover is rentboy turned private investigator, Elliot Leed:

FraudTwiceFelt_500x750

Read the first four chapters here–click the “Excerpt” tab

The release date is next month, May 29. I don’t have the final files yet, but if you’re a blogger and you’re interested in getting a review copy to read and review, comment here and I’ll make sure to send one. I’m busy writing guest posts for the promotional tour but I don’t know if they’ve asked for sign-ups yet.

Enjoy!

Blurb:

Three weeks after solving his old boyfriend’s murder, bounty hunter Derwin Bryant is trying to let go of the past and embrace his new life with Elliot Leed, a former rentboy and fellow Oddity. Elliot, meanwhile, is trying to adjust to working at Bob’s Bail Bonds and having a real relationship despite his strange power of Object Reading. Hanging over the couple is the fear that Roy Yoshiro, notorious gang lord, will make good on his threats to claim Elliot. If that happens, not even Derwin’s superhuman strength will be enough to protect the man he loves.

Their concerns are overshadowed when Derwin’s friend asks for help finding her missing son. It’s not long before the case takes Derwin and Elliot back to the crime-ridden underbelly of the city and straight into Yoshiro’s clutches. Two gangs are vying for power, and Derwin and Elliot get caught in the middle of their very public fight.

Derwin and Elliot must find a way to thwart both gangs’ plans and escape alive. This time, one misstep could spell disaster for all the inhabitants of Nis.

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We’ll miss you, David Bowie

I’m very sad to hear of the passing of David Bowie today. I always found him an inspiration as a free spirit who wasn’t afraid to dress however he liked, write about what he pleased, and be who he wanted to be. I particularly loved his portrayal of the Goblin King in Labyrinth; in fact, that character inspired the villain of my fantasy series in my other pen name.

David was gender fluid and showed that you don’t have to be one thing or the other. I can’t even say I loved his music; it was okay, but I think I more respected just who he was as a person, his creativity.

He’ll continue to inspire millions long after he’s gone. Bless you and rest in peace, David Bowie.

 

Writing Goals for 2016

I’m pulling over a post I wrote in my other pen name’s blog one year ago, with my 2015 goals. I’ve had a shift in my writing over the past two years, and I’ve gone from writing a lot of fantasy and science fiction under one pen name to now writing mostly gay romance under this name. With the signing of a two book contract with Riptide, I’m going to continue to concentrate on writing gay romance this year.

So here’s what I said a year ago:

In 2011 I probably wrote about 50,000 words or so. Much of that was in fanfiction.

In 2012, I wrote about 78,000. Most of this was in short stories and my first fantasy novel, now published.

In 2013, I wrote 96,000 words.

And in 2014, I wrote 146,773 words of NEW writing, for books, novellas, and short stories. That word count does not include edits, blog entries, or anything else. It’s my best year ever.  My goal was 125,000. (Note–much of this was the writing of Book One of the Oddities series, coming out this year!)

So what’s my goal for 2015?  I think I can make 150,000 words. I find that the more I write, the easier it is to write more. Writing creatively is like running–it uses “muscles” which must be trained and honed to be able to produce more. I started with very modest daily goals, and now I’m writing between 750 to 1000 words per day. I’m going to make it a goal in 2015 to have as many 1000 word days as possible.

We’ll see what else 2015 brings.

So here’s what 2015 actually brought. I wrote 200,036 words of new material–although I did include words for new scenes added to the first Oddities book when I did a Revise and Resubmit back in July. So I WAY blew past my 2015 goal!  I never thought I’d get so many new words written in a year, not while working full time and taking care of two dependents, one of them with health issues. So I’m thrilled!

I’ll be honest; I don’t know if I can do it again. But I’m going to try. My goal for 2016 is to write 185,000 words. Why is it lower that what I actually wrote in 2015? Because my work situation has changed again, and I’m not writing as much as I was for much of last year. Maybe I’ll surprise myself again. We’ll see.

My goals this year are to submit edits and promote the publication of Book One of the Oddities series, finish and submit Book Two of the Oddities series (for a 2017 release), finish and self-publish my mm weretiger novel, finish and submit my YA mm novel, finish and self-publish my 3rd pen name erotica serial romance, and finish and possibly publish that stupid 3rd fantasy novel that is taking forever to write. If I can get all that done, I’ll be a happy camper.

Last, here’s my roundup from December on my writing:

Current WIPS:

1. Forest of Thorns and Claws (weretiger M/M), currently at 53,326 words, and I’m past the main climax, moving into the wrap-up. I figure I have two and a half chapters to go.  Final estimated to be about 60k.

2. Fraud and Extortion (The Oddities Book 2, paranormal M/M suspense), currently at 23,741, estimated to be about 90k. Due to publisher by October 1.

3. Fae Fortunes (YA M/M paranormal), currently at 36,313, estimated 65k.

4. Deena and the Professor (Trudy Judd, BDSM romance), Five out of 10 parts written, first 3 parts either published or submitted for pre-order, currently at 486 words on Part 6 (estimated to be 8k).

5. Fantasy novel currently at 78,354 words, total will be 110k.

If I total up the words needed to finish all these current WIPS, it comes to about 175k. So there’s my year, basically.

Book Review: Ask the Oracle

oracle

Title:  Ask the Oracle

Author: J.J. Black

Publisher: Totally Bound

Genre:  M/M Paranormal

Heat level: Medium

Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars

This book had a great premise. In a world where humans, fae, werecreatures, and demons exist, you also have a select few known as “Oracles” who can see visions of past, present, and future. When one such Oracle is approached by a demon to investigate the death of Lucifer, all hell breaks loose (lol pun intended.) The plot beats were simple enough, so the structure was okay. But the writing was really uneven. Every time I almost got into it, something pulled me out.

The problem was the writer tried to focus on too many things all at once. There’d be a great buildup of tension in the main mystery plot, and JUST as I was feeling that tension, the focus would do a hard turn left and move instead to the lust/attraction between Gray and Dreo in a really awkward fashion. This left me not feeling the tension from the mystery/suspense part of the plot, and not feeling the attraction/sexual tension between the two either. I just wanted the writer to concentrate on one thing well and then move to the next without moving around like a ping pong ball.

I know this was traditionally published, but Totally Bound could have done a better job editing. Overall, I found myself skimming large sections (including the love scenes) and not really feeling satisfied with the book.

Book Review: Luck in the Shadows, by Lynn Flewelling

luck

Title: Luck in the Shadows

Author: Lynn Flewelling

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Random House

This book kept getting recommended to me by friends, by Goodreads, and interestingly enough, on LGBT boards as well. So naturally it sparked my curiosity. There’s not a lot that speaks to the LGBT or m/m audience in this particular book, other that a touch of cross-dressing and hints about the future. Oh, and maybe a bromance. But that makes sense, as one of the pair is little more than a child, so I’d be disturbed if there was more than innuendo and foreshadowing.

That being said, I found the book enjoyable enough. The politics–particularly when talking about lands not visited yet–was a little beyond me, but I enjoyed the sneaking around and solving mysteries. I’m still getting a grasp of the magic system but that’s the way the series wants to flow, I believe. The real question is, is the book good enough to pull me to read the second?

Hesitatingly, I’d say yes. I like Alec. Seregil is interesting as well, though still largely a mystery. There were some humorous moments in the book as well as tense ones, and it is because of this that I’d try another one. The world isn’t really all that interesting to me yet, but we’ll see. I do say that if the next book isn’t better, I’ll probably move on to other books and series.