Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Read What You Like to Read

So many authors have addressed the issue regarding Paypal and their stance against certain genres of fiction sold (rather, once sold) by eBook vendors, that I have decided to take a different tack. If you want to catch up on the wave crashing over self/indie publishing right now, see Selena Kitt's blog and Eden Connor's open letter to Paypal. Both write on the subject more eloquently than I can right now.

In short, the books affected here are ones deemed to feature dubious content, namely the plethora of "pseudo-incest" titles one saw in recent months. You won't find any such titles in my catalog, though somebody implied to me that Dare and Dare Alike may brush the line. While the story has an MMM sex scene with two brothers, the brothers don't play with each other, just the third man. I've heard that some MFM stories may be considered twincest by the nature of the acts performed. Now, I also have an MFM story with Phaze, Midnight Passions, where the two males are brothers, so we'll see what happens with those stories. I don't believe they fall into the targeted categories, but given how some powers that be want to define squick, I can't speak with certainty.

I had no plans to try "PI" fiction myself, but I worry about these developments. If readers are prevented from using a pay source to buy a certain genre of fiction, who's to say they won't be able to buy another genre in the future? I certainly do not want to receive a letter from a vendor stating they must remove my M/M or F/F works because of a policy change, because somebody else has dictated what should be sold or read through your store.

I don't read PI fiction, but if you do, you should have the right to purchase the books you want to read. If you want to read a romance about two men or two women who love each other, you should have the right to buy that book. I realize the issue now is about one company leaning on vendors to have them remove titles from their stores - I hope all parties affected can find the resolutions they need to satisfy them. As for me, I will continue to write what I wish to write...just as readers should have the right to read what they wish without having any entity tell them otherwise.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Simple Responses to Readers Unsure About eBooks

I have an author friend who does well at book fairs and signings. Every time a prospective reader drifts close to her table, she'll ask what he/she likes to read. No matter the answer, she holds up her book and recommends - romance, suspense, historical...my author friend holds up the book and says, "Here you go."

Some people are hard sells, too. Once a reader said she was only interested in Christian books. My author friend opened her book and read the Bible verse that began the first chapter. Sale.

Well, with the general focus shifting to eBooks, now we authors must romance (no pun intended) readers with digital devices. For those of us with titles that are only available in eBook format, there's the question of catering to readers who do not own a handheld device. If you are waiting for prices to come down on the Kindle and Nook (and it may just happen, I know some predict just that), you can still read eBooks bought from any store.

  • Click here for Nook apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, and MAC
  • Click here for Amazon Kindle apps for the same devices
  • Click here to read Kindle titles in a browser
  • Click here for Microsoft Reader to read LIT format books
  • Click here for an EPUB reader that works in Firefox
Even if you don't have a PDA or smart phone, you can read eBooks on a laptop.

Not long ago, I read a thread on Facebook and somebody noted that she wanted to buy some Kindle books but didn't have a credit card. There is a way to get around this, too. Just go to your grocery store or drugstore and look for the gift card kiosk. Nook and Amazon have gift cards you can buy - just apply them to an account and enjoy shopping!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Release - ODD

Today is release day for me, and I am especially excited about this because my M/M erotic short, ODD, is part of the All Romance Perfect Strangers line! I had been invited to participate last year, but was not able to meet the deadline. This time around, however, I'm happy they remembered me - and I had a great little story for them. I have a blog tour planned to promote the book, and I'm at the ARe Cafe with some information on the book.

ODD is exclusive with ARe and you can download it today. It's only $1.99!


Opposites do attract...hard and fast.

Greg Hargrove has a ticket to the hottest party in town: Drew Bradley's annual Odd Ball. Dressed for the theme as one half of a popular sitcom duo, Greg doesn't expect to meet his match and engage in a secret night of passion while the festivities rage on. When handsome Rick Wade falls on his radar, however, Greg decides to partake of more explicit party favors.

Is Rick more than a one-night stand, though, or can Greg look forward to many passion-filled reruns?


In the ten years Drew Bradley hosted his annual Odd Ball, people knew to expect two events: sometime toward the end of the evening Drew would lose his pants, and the two winners of the Best Oscar and Best Felix costume awards would immediately hook up afterward and live happily ever after. That many of the happy couples continued to come to the big party as their chosen television personas stood testament to their host’s impeccable matchmaking—and entertaining—skills.

Greg Hargrove personally didn’t care if either happened on his watch. After years of watching siblings primp and prepare for the biggest bash in town, he’d finally reached the requisite legal drinking age and could now attend. Though he’d never seen the television show that inspired the theme of the party, he’d gleaned enough by living vicariously through older friends—and researching YouTube clips—to know the score.

On November fourteenth, Felix Unger was asked to leave his apartment. This request came from his wife...

There was more to the prologue, he knew, but in his excitement Greg thought himself fortunate to recall his own name, much less those of characters from a TV show that ceased airing first run episodes long before he was a “glint in the mailman’s eye,” as his brothers liked to tease.

Greg adjusted his Yankees ball cap and smoothed a hand over his three-day-old stubble. It itched like hell, but he wanted to shoot for realism even if he didn’t win the grand costume prize. Would be nice, though, since neither of his older brothers had won before, and Greg had heard Drew didn’t skimp on the goods. Last year’s couple, he’d been told, won matching gold watches. At the front door of Drew’s McMansion of a home, a wiry, unsmiling man with a long nose looked down at Greg over his John Lennon glasses. “Your invitation?” He held out a pale, almost wrinkleless palm.

“Sure.” Greg surrendered the requisite card given to him by his brother Joe, who couldn’t make it this time. Joe hadn’t kidded him when he warned about the exclusivity of the event. What the hell went on here that required protection against crashers?

The butler-bouncer, for lack of a better description, peered down at the invitation for a long moment, as though determining its authenticity. Then, curling it in his bony hand, he addressed Greg. “You may access all designated party rooms with the exception of the VIP area, and you must stay in character. How everyone behaves throughout the evening will determine the final judging for the contest.”

“Got it.” Damn, people sure took this party seriously. At least, going as slovenly Oscar rather than uptight Felix, Greg believed he could blend in easily. Acting like a slob came naturally to him anyway.

“Good.” The man startled Greg with a warm smile that completely softened the landscape of his face. “Enjoy yourself.”

Greg passed through a wide foyer of gilt-framed mirrors and Queen Anne occasional tables to reach the main party area. Drew Bradley certainly didn’t hide his wealth, and Greg wondered how the guy came into his money. According to rumors, he’d either inherited it or invested wisely in the early days of Internet IPOs. Either way, the guy was apparently loaded.

On seeing the vast living room filled with partygoers, Greg realized the host didn’t spare any expense for this gig, either.

A shorter, blond Felix, crisp and clean in pleated beige slacks, white Oxford, and a green sweater vest, approached from the left and offered a can of Schlitz.

“You’re new,” he said. It wasn’t a question.

Greg nodded. “Yeah, I just got in,” he said, his attention still drawn to the room. A thick white line divided the space, half the room appointed with elegant antiques and servers bearing silver trays of fancy hors d’oeuvres. A string trio played in one corner. Not a speck on the carpet.

The other side, by contrast, looked as if a tornado had hit. Junky couches peppered with tortilla shards crowded the space, and plastic bowls of pretzels and chips sat everywhere. No coasters under cans, no napkins. A group of Oscars gathered around a flat screen television, watching a hockey match.

Amid the activity, though, Greg did notice how the guests crossed the line to interact with each other. A female Felix turned up her nose as her Oscar companion offered her a bite of a dripping sandwich, while a Chinese Oscar got his hand slapped when he tried to touch a vase on the Felix side.

Greg’s new Felix friend chuckled. “No, I meant you’re new here, period. I’ve been coming to this party since the very first year. I would have remembered you.”

“Oh?” Greg finally turned to see how handsome his companion looked despite the stuffy demeanor. This Felix stood straight, a good head shorter than Greg, and possessed a serene quality he usually found attractive. Greg liked his men slim and tended to favor twinks, though he’d not before considered anybody older. If what this man said was true, he had at least six to ten years on Greg. The Odd Ball admission required guests to be at least twenty-one.

Greg folded his arms and regarded the Poindexter. “What makes you think you could single me out?” he challenged.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Picking Up After a Fumble - Resuming a Series

I would like to address something related to an email I received recently from a reader. A few years ago I released with Samhain Publishing an M/M novella called Taste This. This is highly sexed sci-fi story about a renegade alien who kidnaps a baker. I was sort of inspired by earlier stories about alpha males claiming mates, and I just had fun with a story that's basically wall to wall sex. I had billed the book as the first of a series, and left the story with an ambiguous ending. I want you to know it had always been my intention to return to the story. As a wise man once said, "life gets in the way when you're making other plans."

Not long after Taste This released, life did change for me. I had an infant at the time of writing this, and I had no editing or publishing responsibilities. As I become more involved with another publishing house behind the scenes, my writing priorities shifted. Then other plot bunnies emerged, then my child needed her mother, then we moved, and so on and on. All this time, sequels to this and a few other stories remained smoldering on the back burner.

Recently, I got called on this. "You left us hanging," said the message, and that person is right. I can give you every excuse under the sun, but at the end of the day I know I can't disappoint readers. It was never my intention to do so. I had planned to extend a number of stories into series: I was going to write a third story in my short Jack series, I was going to write a follow-up to Long Awaited Friend, and I was going to write Bittersweet, the Taste This sequel. I still have Pure Bliss, the second Bliss book, open and waiting my attention.

You know what? These will be written. I don't like leaving work unfinished, and if a sequel is forthcoming I need to make it happen. Whether these works will be published through the original publishers or on my own remains to be seen, but I will write them.