Character Playlist

I didn’t manage to get out a post yesterday since things have been crazy lately and I’ve been dealing with a chronic pain issue. However, I want to repost one of my guests posts that seemed very popular with the first book but was mainly missed this time–the musical playlist for Derwin and Elliot. Also, here are the rest of the links to the blog tour stops, including another guest post where I go into detail about the yokai featured in the world of the Oddities.


June 1 and June 2 tour stops:

OMG Reads (playlist)


Fangirl Moments

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words–Guest Post about the yokai

Wicked Faeries Review

Book Bayou Junkie


Character Playlist

During my blog tour for the first Oddities book, Murder Once Seen, I included a post about the playlists for Derwin and Elliot and talked about how I use music in my writing. Readers enjoyed the playlists, so I’m doing it again for Book 2, Fraud Twice Felt. In the first book, Derwin and Elliot were separate entities with different tastes in music, so I had a playlist for each, based on music they might like, music that inspired me during the writing, or music that I felt fit the journeys the characters were on.

This time when I started thinking about a playlist, I found I could no longer separate the two boys. They’ve merged into a couple. Therefore, I have only a single playlist of songs that I think best fit this book and the boys. The songs give clues into the characters, the plot of the book and the feel of the series. I typically don’t have the luxury of actually writing to music, but I still listen to music while plotting ideas, often while driving in the car. I love how lyrics can fit in perfectly with a character’s situation.

So here’s my playlist:

Fraud Twice Felt Playlist

  1. Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  2. Addicted to You – Avicii
  3. I’m Still Standing –Elton John
  4. Prevent This Tragedy – Alkaline Trio
  5. Megalomaniac – Incubus
  6. Respect – Aretha Franklin
  7. This is War – 30 Seconds to Mars
  8. Murder City – Green Day
  9. Demons – Imagine Dragons
  10. Lay Your Hands on Me – Bon Jovi
  11. Follow Me – Muse
  12. Summertime – MCR

I’ll leave it to readers to figure out how those songs tie in to the characters and plot of the book—this time I’ve included a song or two that pertains to secondary characters, particularly the gang leader Roy Yoshiro, who features prominently in the book.

I hope readers enjoy these songs, and I hope they enjoy reading the continued adventures of Derwin and Elliot in Fraud Twice Felt.

Buy the book now on Amazon!




Another New Release and Giveaway!

And it’s out–the second novel this month for me, and also the second book in the Oddities series! Fraud Twice Felt follows the story of bounty hunter Derwin Bryant and ex-rentboy Elliot Leed, in a dystopian alternate Earth where creatures of Japanese lore roam the wilderness, forcing humans to live in walled-off cities where crime runs rampant.

The blog tour starts today as well, and runs from May 29 to June 2. Post a comment to any of the tour stops and enter into the giveaway for a $20 gift card to Riptide AND a free eBook by J.T. Hall.

The blog tour page with all stops

Today’s posts:

Boy Meets Boy

My Fiction Nook: Guest Post, “World Building”

Booklover Sue

Diverse Reader: Five Fun Facts about the book



Buy the book from Riptide


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.


And don’t forget that for all of May, you can get the first Oddities book, Murder Once Seen, for only 99 cents!

Deal only good on Riptide



Book Review: Bingo Barge Murder

Title: Bingo Barge Murder

Author: Jessie Chandler

Series: Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series

Genre: Mystery (LGBT)

Heat level: Sweet (just a kiss)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


I really debated giving this 4.5 or even 5 stars. This was a funny, intelligent mystery from a lesbian detective in the spirit of the Stephanie Plum series, only set in Minnesota instead. Great cast of characters from the not-quite-together Shay O’Hanlon to her sexy love interest, Detective Bordeux. I think the junkyard dog was one of the best characters, especially when paired up with feisty Ms. Eddy.

This was a bit more of a madcap adventure than a true mystery, but there was the question of why the murder took place. The misadventures certainly kept the pace of the book up, and I found the whole thing quite funny. I’ll be grabbing Ms. Chandler’s next book in the series for sure.

I think my one tiny criticism wasn’t with the book itself but with the eBook formatting. It looks like the book was scanned and there were a few formatting issues. This wasn’t enough to detract from the story, however.

A great debut novel!

A new LGBT mystery series on the horizon

And the plot bunnies are back. I managed to hold off this one for a while; the idea first came to me in a vivid dream, no doubt spurred by watching too many episodes of Rizzoli and Isles. Two college-aged girls solving a mystery, a geek and a jock, who eventually fall for each other. A light-hearted contemporary mystery series at some unnamed college campus with lesbians as the crime solvers. I haven’t seen too many of those floating about.

I jotted down a quick note, and continued writing my gay paranormal mystery novel.

Now, however, I’m getting close to the climax in that book (70,000 words written, and an estimated 20,000 or less to go!). The bunny is back in my brain, gnawing at me to flesh out more details.

So I’m doing that now. For each book I use a blank spiral notebook where I jot down all the things that come to me–character descriptions, plot ideas, a beginning scene, research about the setting, basically anything that will help when I get to the actual writing. These girls are starting to take form. Naturally I want to talk about them, like any proud “parent.”

First there is Rosilyn “Ross” Cooper. She’s the jock, playing sports like tennis, softball, and kickboxing. Don’t let the last name fool you; she takes after her mother as a proud Hispanic, with four siblings, mostly older. She’s confident, outgoing, and prefers action over thinking.

Then there’s Allison “Ally” Hoffman. the geek. She’s an only child; her mother is a physician’s assistant and her father is a surgeon. She devours books like candy, loves mysteries, and wants to be a forensic toxicologist or work in the genetics lab. She’s also socially inept and hopeless at anything physical.

So yes, there are obvious echoes of some of your classic duos here. Cagney and Lacey, Moonlighters, maybe even the Odd Couple.  I’m hoping with the younger age of the detectives and the rainbow spin on this that the series will talk to a broader audience. It’s certainly something I’d like to read.

Now I just have to figure out what the crime was. And how they’ll solve it.

Book Review: Among the Living (PsyCop #1)


Book:  Among the Living

Series: Psycop

Author: Jordan Castillo Price

Publisher: JCP Books

Genre: Paranormal Gay Mystery (with some romance)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s kind of a no-brainer why I chose to read this book. I’m writing a Gay Romance/Mystery/Suspense novel with paranormal elements and ta da! That’s what this series is as well. So I wanted to see what was out there. This book came highly recommended, and I can see why. Jordan does a great job with the suspense and mystery aspects of the book, keeping things constantly moving along. It was downright creepy at the end, and I liked that. I also like how she weaves in the paranormal elements, with cops having psychic abilities including talking to spirits, truth-telling, and a cosmic Magic 8 ball ability.

I think the only thing that kept me from giving this five stars is that I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. While I liked the tone of the narrator’s voice, he keeps himself distant from everyone, and I think that kept me the reader a bit distant as well. There was sexual attraction between Vic and Marks (along with sex), but I didn’t really feel any kind of emotional connection between them. It left me wondering if Vic would be like a Sam Spade in the next book and find someone else. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did. (Yes, it felt that casual, and not romantic).

But other than that, I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the character of Lisa Gutierrez. The reader only gets occasional snapshots of her emotions, but it’s enough to paint a vivid picture of her. You can tell this woman has fought hard against the system, against sexism and racism and her background to get where she’s gotten. I hope to see more of her.

While I’ve been sampling different authors in the m/m genre, particularly dealing with mysteries or paranormal, most of the series I probably won’t go on to read more than one book. I think however that this one intrigued me enough to try Book 2.

That’s why it get 4 stars.

Titles are Such Trouble

So the writing is going well, overall. I’ve written about 17,500 words so far in the m/m novel, and about 1100 in a short gay erotic piece as well. I have ideas on the burner for my next Het Tale erotic short story, a lesbian story out making the rounds, and another plot bunny for a lesbian mystery novel.

I’m also trying to read a lot more, particularly in the m/m romance genre since I’ll be playing a lot in that field. I was dismayed to find that a friend of mine who also writes in this genre stole the title I’d come up with–well very nearly, anyway. I was going to have my first book called “Breaking and Entering” because it all starts with just that, as well as a murder. But I really like her book “Break and Enter.”

So what’s a writer to do?

I’m also having issues with the series name. One of my main characters is a bounty hunter, so currently I’m calling this “The Bounty Hunter Series.” But that’s not really what it’s about. They’ll be solving murders, my sadistic bounty hunter and an object reading psychic. Their powers label them as Oddities in this world.

So what should I call it?

The Oddities Series? An Odd Mystery? (hmm, I kinda like that one, actually.)  Or I could go to the old standby in mysteries of naming it for the characters. Derwin and Elliot. Or last name–Bryant and Leed.

I’m going to be asking for feedback from my crit group. Meanwhile, I think I’ll change the name of the first book to “Murder One.” Yes, it gives a little hint about the murder (that it’s premeditated) but I don’t keep that a secret for long, so I think I’m okay with it.

Anyone else have this trouble?

Review: Unseen Touch by Arvel Amaya


Title: Unseen Touch (Paranormal Crime Unit The Touch #1)

Author: Arvel Amaya

Publisher: Amaya Books

Genre: Gay (Romance, Suspense)

Because I’m starting to write a gay romantic suspense novel, I wanted to check out some books that are similar in terms of having the paranormal elements as well as gay romance and mysteries or suspense/thrillers. This book has quite a lot in common with the kind of world I’m creating (but with plenty of differences as well, thankfully). In this world, paranormal abilities and crimes are common enough that there’s actually a division at the police to deal with them: the PCU, or Paranormal Crimes Unit.

The book (I say book loosely; it’s more of a novella) charges right into the action by introducing the detective Henri, who is currently working at a private detective with the gift of reading objects. Henri is a pretty typical crime detective story character, but I liked the fact that his gift gives him almost more grief than it’s worth, between headaches, fatigue and really bad visions.

If the story had just been about him, it would have been pretty typical hardboiled mystery fare. Instead, the author takes a risk and adds another element. Not just a gay romance. Gay romance with a golem, of all things.

You don’t see that very often!  I loved the risk that this writer took, and I think she actually pulled it off. With the paranormal elements and the unusual romance, I found this book very enjoyable, and I plan on getting the next book in the series. Those who love erotic gay fiction do get the sex they crave along with a fun and exciting plot. Best of all the prose is nearly invisible, which means it’s well edited and clean.

Viva la difference!