Busy times and delays

It’s been a very busy year so far.

In my day job, I’ve been working very hard to develop a pilot training program for oral health, to teach community health workers so that they can teach low-income parents about good oral health practices. It’s been frantic and exhausting at times. Then on top of that, I’ve been helping my partner manage several health issues, among them pain management, diabetes, and anxiety. And I’ve been working on my own issues of ADHS.

Add to that my first book which has been going through a grueling editing process–developmental, line, etc. and also me working on the next book plus the other books I’ve been writing?

Yeah, it’s been busy.

Thanks in part to this, and also to editors with busy lives as well, Riptide has decided to change the release date for my mm paranormal suspense novel, Murder First Seen. They want time to finish the edits and get out the advanced reading copies (ARCs) to libraries, magazines, etc. for reviews and marketing. My publicist is pretty excited about the book, so that’s a good sign.

So the new release date will be December 12.

I’m partially bummed that I have to wait longer, but on the other hand, I agree that the book should get the full time needed for more traditional magazine reviews and marketing. Plus, this puts it right in the Christmas season, which could be a very good thing.

So yes, mark your calendars. Murder First Seen will be released December 12, 2016.

MurderOnceSeen_400x600

Pre-order page on Riptide: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/murder-once-seen

(This news is so new, they haven’t even changed the date on the pre-order page yet, but expect that soon.)

Thanks for everyone’s support!

A bit late–March WIP wrapup

Real life was crazy last week, so I didn’t get up my monthly work in progress post. So here that is, and then later this week I’ll talk about some new characters I’m developing for the Oddities Books 4 through 6. (What are the Oddities books, you say? You’ll find out in September, when the first one comes out!)

Just to give an update on things, lately I’ve been working on edits to my weretiger novel I just finished, Forest of Thorns and Claws. I should hopefully finish that this week, and by the end of next week I expect to have it submitted to my editor. Meanwhile, I just received the line edits for Murder First Seen (The Oddities Book One) so I’m making my way through that as well. I’m more than halfway through writing the second Oddities book, which is why I’m trying to look forward and figure out how I’m going to finish Derwin and Elliot’s plot and romance arcs by the end of Book 3, and where I’ll need to be at that point for the world’s story arc. (Which brings me to the pairing who will carry books 4 through 6. But I’ll talk about that later. It’s pretty neat stuff.)

So anyways, here’s the latest on my current WIPS, as of today:

1. Forest of Thorns and Claws (weretiger M/M), Finished at 62,857 words, four more chapters left to edit.

2. Fraud Twice Felt (The Oddities Book 2, paranormal M/M suspense), now at 50,475 words, estimated to be about 90k. Due to publisher by October 1.

3. Fae Fortunes (YA M/M paranormal), currently at 39,507 words, estimated 65k.

4. Deena and the Professor (Trudy Judd, BDSM romance), Six out of 10 parts written, first 5 parts published, currently at 826 words on Part 7 (estimated to be 8k).

5. Fantasy novel currently at 79,747 words, total will be 110k. Right now this one is the lowest of my priorities.

Getting to the climax, and an excerpt

Sometimes it feels like you’ve been working on a project forever. While it was only about a year ago that I started writing my first M/M shifter novel, it feels like that right now, because I want it to be DONE! It seems slow only because I work on multiple projects at once, which means each project individually takes longer to be completed. But I’m starting to see the finish line! Currently 47,000 words, and I’m heading into the main climax of the plot.

So I figured I’d give everyone an excerpt today. I wanted to have this done and published by Christmas, but I’m not sure I’ll make that deadline. It may be more like January. Hopefully not later than that.

So meet the boys, Donovan McGinnis and Kersen of the Mentauri clan . One’s a Scottish doctor who never lived in Scotland, but was raised in places like India and Thailand. The other has family ancestry from Bali but grew up in Sumatra.

Kersen and Donovan

(Excerpt from Chapter 2)

Gunung Leuser National Forest, Sumatra

As the five humans dragged the injured tiger away, the young male tiger watched from high up in a tree, safely out of sight. Claws dug into the hard wood as he yawned, long canine teeth flashing. He was anything but tired, however; he was stressed.

That was his sister down there.

As soon as the humans were out of sight, Kersen climbed down the tree, loping over to where they’d left the broken strands of the snare. He growled, smelling his sister’s blood on the thin cords.

Pure idiocy. He couldn’t believe he and Gemi had been so careless. They both knew how widespread the snares had become in the last few years. The poachers were growing bolder all the time, and more clever, as well. Kersen’s older sister, Bitari, was going to kill him for letting Gemi be taken. Ever since their parents had died, Bitari had been the guardian of the family. Their Harijmau jadian keluarga, their weretiger clan, still recognized his aunt Mentari as leader, but like the natural tigers, the weretiger population in Sumatra was dying out.

Where would they hide when the natural tiger population went extinct?

Kersen rumbled to himself, taking a moment to familiarize himself with the scents of the humans. He’d heard Gemi’s cries from across the valley, but he’d come too late. It should have been him cutting the ropes and freeing her. Now they had a predicament. The only positive was she’d been taken by conservationists and not the poachers. But what if they decided to keep her? She’d be trapped in her tiger form indefinitely.

He couldn’t allow that. He’d follow the men and free her.

The area was layered with scents. Kersen took a moment to concentrate on them, familiarizing himself with the leader’s scent in particular. The man was a veterinarian or something. Kersen had watched him cut his sister loose, and bandage her. Coppery brown hair cut short with a beard, and white skin, which meant he was a foreigner. British, most likely. One of those people out to save the world. For Kersen, his plan was to stay near Gemi, tracking their scents.

Kersen took a deep breath, sniffing. The man had a pleasant smell. A touch of clove, or coffee, perhaps. Earthy smells. Kersen took another whiff, whiskers twitching. Cinnamon. Great Brahma, Kersen could lick the fellow up. He huffed. How could he be thinking such thoughts when his sister was in danger?

In any case, Kersen knew the man’s scent now. He would know it anywhere he encountered it again.

Licking his chops and trying to dispel the pleasant warmth that had begun to stir within him, Kersen followed the trail. He kept low to the ground, mindful of any snares the conservationists might have missed. He needed to know where they were taking Gemi. It was easy to stay out of the humans’ sight, easy to be quiet with all the noise they were making. The leader was speaking in English on his phone, likely with the center director. Kersen’s English was rusty, but he could make out most of it.

“What’s the ____ time of arrival? Has there been any ______ of the poachers in this area?” The leader’s voice sounded tense,and focused. Kersen couldn’t see him through the underbrush, but that was by design. If he could see them, they in turn might see him. Again, that warmth spread through him, feeling like home, like safety. He wanted to run over there and rub his face against the man’s leg. Mark him.

Why would he want to do that?

Kersen snarled quietly, falling back to make sure none of the men detected him. The jungle had been quiet all day. The village where the shifters lived their human lives was well to the west of here. He only needed to make sure Gemi got out before she accidentally bit and infected anyone. Locals knew of their kind. No one outside the area had ever believed their tales. The only danger would be for a white foreigner like this leader to discover Kersen’s people and spread word to the world.

The weretigers had lived hidden away for centuries. Myth had it that they all originated from a small group of shamen, wizards who had performed complex ceremonies to ask the gods for the power to transform into beasts. The gods granted them that ability, and also the ability to pass the gift onto others, through blood and bite. They weren’t like the fabled werewolves; the moon had no power over them. But weretigers were nevertheless connected to the wilderness.

The jungle and the tiger inside would always be linked.

Guest Post: Skye Jones

New Release news! 

Today I’m hosting Skye Jones, another member of my Yahoo group “House of Manlove” writing critique group, with the announcement of a new release. Check it out–I read the drafts, and it was really good. Gruff wolf meets innocent young man, and it’s all set in Wales.

Claimed by Desire is now out.

Broken by the loss of his mate, wolf shifter Dylan returns to his birthplace in Wales with only one thing on his mind…revenge. When Aeron enters his life, their intense attraction is too powerful to ignore, and budding attraction soon becomes something deeper. Steamy passion fills the pages of Claimed By Desire, Book 2 of my hot and sexy romance series, Wild Hunters.

*Although part of a series it can be read as a standalone*

 

Early reviews are already coming in and they say:

“5* Claimed by Desire was an awesome, paranormal, sexy and very HOT story”

“Oh boy do I love a good shapeshifter story, but that is an understatement, in regards to Claimed by Desire, because this was an amazingly fantastic read.”

“Skye Jones wowed me with Claimed by Desire…not to be missed. Skye Jones has created a winner.”

Blurb:

Dylan Roberts returns to the Wales of his birth a changed man after the violent death of his mate. Having turned his back on being a bounty hunter and sworn off love for life, all he wants now is revenge. When he meets Aeron Lombardo, his new farmhand, Dylan resents the intense attraction that blossoms between them. But Aeron won’t stop pushing and soon things take a hot and sexy turn. As passions rise, danger rears its ugly head. Now Dylan and Aeron must choose whether to separate or commit to one another totally. Will Dylan take the final step and claim his new mate?

Buy Links:    

Amazon US:  http://www.amazon.com/Claimed-Desire-Wild-Hunters-Book-ebook/dp/B0104X9COC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1437309202&sr=8-3&keywords=skye+jones

Amazon UK:   http://www.amazon.co.uk/Claimed-Desire-Wild-Hunters-Book-ebook/dp/B0104X9COC/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1437309322&sr=8-4&keywords=skye+jones

B&N:               http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/claimed-by-desire-skye-jones/1122248981?ean=9781622102365

Liquid Silver:    http://www.lsbooks.com/pre-order-coming-soon-romance-books-c322.php

I love to keep in touch with readers. For giveaways, news, and free stories sign up to my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bdVZ-5

Guest Post: Amelia Bishop

NightVisionFS

Today on my blog I have Amelia Bishop, author of Night Vision which just recently came out. I’m sick of vampires, but I really liked the night creature she presented in her book, which I was fortunate enough to read as part of the House of Manlove writers critique group. Find out more!

A little more about the strige…

Hi! Amelia Bishop here, thank you JT for having me J JT asked if I could give a bit more information about the creature in my latest release Night Vision, the strige.

I came up with this character by combining several myths. The Strigoi (vampires) of Romanian legend, and the Strega (witches) of Italian myth. In my searching, I found this picture:

Strige

Creepy, right?

And the web page I found it on had some inspiring text:

“the Romanian living vampires rarely drink blood, but they can rob people, animals, and crops of their vitality to enhance their own. They can also leave their own physical bodies at night to travel in animal form such as that of a wolf, a dog, a cat, a hen, or a raven, or as a small glowing ball or spark of light.”

So, I used the idea of “robbing vitality” of victims, in that my strige absorbs emotions from humans, as a form of sustenance.

I also liked the idea of being bird-like. I found some interesting references to owl-ish villians in classical texts – Ovid and Seneca the Younger both wrote of owl-like creatures who killed children at night.

Of course, I am not going to write about crazy owl-witch things that kill infants! Not very romantic at all. But I did like the idea of a creature who watches at night, who moves about in an animal way, and who is misunderstood. So I tried to replicate those qualities with my strige.

My strige, Theron, is a paranormal creature who always retains his human form. This is not a shape-shifting owl. He does move quickly, though, and he can seem to almost fly, at least to a human eye. His skills include mind manipulation – he can put humans into a sort of trance, as well as control their ability to move for short periods of time. He cannot read minds, but he can easily see emotions, so he has a good idea of what humans are thinking. His hearing and vision are enhanced, as well.

So he is smart, strong, and always knows what his partner is feeling…kind of sounds like a perfect boyfriend, no? I found this picture:

theron

And I think it is a much better inspiration picture for Theron J

If you are interested in more inspiration pictures and background on Night Vision, check out my pinterest page.

Thanks so much, JT, for having me here!

 

Blurb:

Theron Antonopolis, a strige, feeds on human emotion. In a tranquil suburban neighborhood, his best meals come from a quiet systems administrator who’s become more than a source of nourishment for Theron—Alex Rowler is an obsession. Theron can no longer remain in the shadows. When they meet, any attraction Alex feels toward the sexy monster is overshadowed by his anxiety and distrust of Theron’s supernatural powers. But sensing the underlying arousal, Theron begins courting his human.  As months pass, Theron falls deeply in love, and the need to complete the strige bonding ceremony with his human lover becomes overwhelming. But a permanent commitment is too much, too soon for Alex, and he delays the joining, despite Theron’s insistence they are running out of time. As an unbonded pair, however, Theron and Alex draw the attention of the Midnight Parliament, and the lovers are brought to trial to determine their fate.

Buy Links: Amazon • Dreamspinner • AllRomance

Amelia Bishop links: Twitter • Facebook • Blog • Amazon • Pinterest • Goodreads

Book Review: A Nightmare Come True

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Book: A Nightmare Come True

Author: Sage Marlowe

Publisher: Totally Bound

Genre: M/M Paranormal

Heat: Explicit

Rating: 3 stars

I’ve been putting off reviewing this one because I felt ambivalent about it. The sex was really good, and it’s a sexy set up and an interesting concept. But I never felt comfortable while reading the book. There was just this current of creepy that pervaded it, so by the end even I wasn’t sure if the two men should end up together. That’s not really a good thing in a romance book.

Basic premise–young guy gets a job helping out at a porn studio where he gets to watch his favorite porn star. When they need a fill in, he gets called in to participate. He gets to know his idol, and ends up taking him home. The catch? His idol seems to leave a wake of destruction all around him. Okay, maybe that’s a bit overdramatic. His love interests seem to fall ill an awful lot.

Now since the Amazon blurb gives it away, I can tell you, he’s an incubus. He feeds off sexual energy. And that was what drew me to the book. But the way it all plays out left me feeling weird and unclean. I’m not sure that’s what the author intended. So because of that, I give it three stars. The group sex part was very hot (didn’t like the first voyeur scene, but then I don’t like sex scenes that have the danger of being caught. Just not my thing.)

So I can see why the book has earned many five star reviews, for the hot factor alone. Just not for me. I think if I had to put my finger on why, it’s the emotional bond between Mike and Colin–or almost the lack of one. It may be because the blossoming of their relationship is mostly skipped over and summarized, so I didn’t get to really feet it change. But I just didn’t feel the love.

Book Review: Among the Living (PsyCop #1)

psycop

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.