Rainbow Snippets: First Kiss

I meant to do this a couple weeks back but I’ve been busy on the weekends. Quite a few covers have been created in that time including one for a brand new author! It’s really exciting to create the cover for someone’s very first book.

At any rate, I’m here and I’m about to address the comments I got last time I did this. Last time out I posted from Out of the Pocket, a kiss between Bryce and Joss after they get back together. It’s a kiss that references their first kiss and people wanted to know about that first kiss so here it is!

“You’re so beautiful.”

The breath soft whisper preceded the press of Joss’s lips to his own and Bryce melted. No one had ever kissed him so sweetly or with such leashed passion. In his lifetime, he’d only ever received a half dozen fleeting, perfunctory kisses from men. He’d always feared being caught so he rarely indulged in his sexual urges. Joss’s kiss spilled over with a deep yearning that echoed Bryce’s own cravings. He didn’t know this man, but his body and soul seemed to as they leaped to respond to Joss.

Like last time, that’s actually seven sentences, but it’s my understanding there’s a bit of leeway there.  This is the first kiss between my football heroes and like the last one I posted, it takes place on a football field as well. I’ve kinda decided I need to table these guys temporarily because I need to get my mojo back and, right now, that mojo wants me to work on something else, something new. I’m hoping that they will flow from my fingers and eventually bring me back to Bryce and Joss so I can finish their story and get them published one way or the other! Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed their first kiss!

Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook group and meme for sharing excerpts from your own or others’ stories about queer/LGBTQ characters. The goal is to share six lines—one for each stripe on the rainbow flag. Most rainbow flags have six stripes, but there are variations with up to nine, so participants have some leeway with the exact number.

Find more Rainbow Snippets on the Rainbow Snippets Facebook page or by looking for #rainbowsnippets and #rainbowsnippet on twitter. It’s a great way to discover new authors.

Have a good one!

Rainbow Snippets – Kisses

This week I’m starting something new. I joined Rainbow Snippets! I welcome all the readers and writers who follow all the links in this Facebook group and read all these lovely LGBTQ+ writing snippets.

As a little background for those of you who don’t know me, posting snippets is how I ended up getting published. I was writing in a multi-writer online fanfic type story and began posting snippets on this blog. A few authors started coming by and one, Jennifer Leeland, started bugging me to get write something for publication. She’s really the first person to honestly tell me I could write and be published. And she was right!

For my first six Rainbow Snippet sentences (which are really seven sentences), I give you Bryce and Joss from my current WIP which is about 2 years past due. (And I know my agent has probably forgotten who I am because I got so sick I’ve owed her this book for a year!) At any rate, there’s less than 20K to finish this and I am trying to find the time to actually finish this year. This what Bryce thinks of Joss’s kisses in Out of the Pocket.

“I love you.”

Joss went so still, Bryce feared what would happen when his lover finally moved. His stomach crawled with apprehension. But then the green eyes lit with a fire Bryce had never seen before and the hands that held his hips gentled in a way he’d never felt before.

And then, Joss kissed him.

That first kiss in the dark had been a revelation, a door opening onto a world Bryce had only dreamed of until that moment. This kiss contained all the treasures of that world.

That’s not a real cover. It’s just a little inspiration I made for myself. For more Rainbow Snippets, please visit the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook, which is public. All the writers either have or will be posting links to their snippets this weekend.

Have a good one!

Happy 2018!

Happy New Year everyone! I have a plethora of winners to announce so I’ll just get right down to it.

In the drawing for a free cover from Winterheart Design hubs pulled out the following 4 names: Sue Brown, Jackie Keswick, E.M. Denning and Sierra Brave!

In the drawing for the Great New Year’s Giveaway book bundle, the name he picked is Donna Antonio!

In the drawing for the audio book bundle, he chose A McKeehan!

Thank you all authors and readers alike for participating. We’ll do this again next year with some of kind of twist on the original theme. I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.

Much love to you all,

 

Day 1 – 30 Days of Christmas 2017

It’s here! Day 1 of my annual 30 Days of Christmas Giveaway! I am starting out the year with a BANG! Today’s giveaway includes a very hot, sexy mystery and a little military love from me. What that means is that I’m giving away a copy of my MM military novella Extraction and I’m featuring an author whose series really captivated me when I was recuperating from having that massive gallstone and my gallbladder removed. May Archer’s The Easy Way was fast paced and really intriguing. I had to have the second book The Long Way. Now, I’m so hooked I’m salivating for the third book! Let’s take a look at both books so you can see what you could win today!

May is an M/M author who lives in Boston. She spends her days raising three incredibly sarcastic children, finding inventive ways to drive her husband crazy, planning beach vacations, avoiding the gym, reading M/M romance, and occasionally writing it. Sign up for her newsletter at: https://www.subscribepage.com/MayArcher_News

The Easy Way

Camden Seaver had it easy – a loving family, plenty of money, and the freedom to follow his dreams while his older brother, Sebastian, took charge of the family business. But when a tragic plane crash killed his parents, all the responsibilities he never wanted landed firmly on his shoulders. Now saddled with his crazy, grief-stricken brother and his dad’s multimillion dollar company, Cam doesn’t trust in dreams anymore. He’s forgotten what “easy” feels like.

FBI Agent Kendrick “Cort” Cortland learned the hard way that he couldn’t depend on anyone but himself. Before joining the FBI, the one constant in his life was his foster brother, Damon – and then Damon disappeared. Now, Cort is determined to find his brother and to bring down the man responsible for ruining Damon’s life, Sebastian Seaver. He’s got nothing left to lose.

When Cort’s investigation leads him to Seaver Tech…and Camden Seaver…what started as a quest for revenge and a one-night deception quickly turns into far more than either man bargained for. But how can either man trust in something that seems so easy? As long-held secrets are revealed, the attraction between Cam and Cort becomes combustible – an undeniable love that will either make or destroy them. Will Cam and Cort let their conflicting loyalties drive them apart? Or will they decide that sometimes love is the easy way?

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Way-May-Archer-ebook/dp/B075JMHQG9

Lex writes mostly MM currently, but her backlist includes MF and MMF. Although romance is her preferred genre, most of her books are paranormal or contemporary with an occasional fantasy, dystopian or steampunk thrown into the mix. All of Lex’s romances contain a Happily Ever After. She just doesn’t do romance any other way.

Lex’s current publishers include Loose Id, MLR Press, Liquid Silver, and Decadent. She is also the Amazon best selling author of the self published series Souls in Bondage. Lex is represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Agency.

Extraction

Two soldiers, former lovers, each think they are saving the other from a South American drug cartel, all the while rehashing their broken relationship.

Green Beret Shane Cullen has been undercover for the DEA with a South American drug cartel. Eighteen months into his assignment, and unbeknownst to Shane, the cartel’s number two man is captured by the U.S. Marshals and starts to talk. Shane’s mission becomes endangered. His Special Forces commander calls in a favor and pulls in Shane’s former lover and teammate Elliott Hutchens for an extraction.

Elliott hasn’t seen Shane in almost two years, since his lover walked out on him. But Shane’s in trouble and doesn’t know it, so Elliott can’t refuse the mission. Getting himself captured by the cartel in order to force Shane to rescue him is the easy part. The hard part comes when Shane discovers he’s the real extraction, not Elliott. Shane’s bad temper ended their relationship once before. Will it get in the way again or can these two soldiers work through their issues and find their way to a happy ever after?

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Extraction-Lex-Valentine-ebook/dp/B01N2IBXML

For a chance to win Extraction and The Easy Way, leave a comment on this thread by midnight Pacific time! Tomorrow I’ll post who the winner is. And stay tuned all month as I feature books and MM authors through Christmas and MF authors between Christmas and New Year’s. Some of the authors you can look forward to are Jaime Samms, Tara Lain, KC Burn, Charlie Cochrane, Aimee Nicole Walker, Jay Northcote, Layla Reyne, Megan Slayer, Lucy Lennox, Nikki Prince, Lisa Worrall, Nya Rawlyns, Sue Brown and many more!

Happy Holidays!

Flourishing Through Adversity

Let me start by saying this is not a short post. If you’re looking for short and fun, this ain’t it. I’m on a little bit of a rant but I’m also trying to reassure friends and readers who are finding it difficult to navigate the tidal wave of waters from the current administration of this country. I know I’ve said before that I wouldn’t get all political here, but sometimes I just have to. Especially since this morning the stress got to be too much for hubs and he blew up in such an out of control way, I had to yell at him, which I never do. And of course, it terrified all the babies and one peed on the floor.  I just have no words sometimes. Other times, I have to channel it into an almost rant. So here I go.

For those who wear Trump colored glasses (yes, I made those!) what I have to say today may not seem true nor resonate with you. That’s okay. You all can just pass on by since this post isn’t really for you. If you believe in alternative facts just keep going and don’t bother to read this or comment. I will, without malice, delete any pro-Trump/anti-what I’m saying comments unread. This isn’t the forum for those. There is enough negativity in this world and I’m not going to willingly subject myself to any more of it despite the fact that today’s post is indisputably political in nature which tends to draw out all the people who think differently than I do.

Just be aware that I bear you no ill will for being a Trump supporter. If you are one, that’s fine. Just don’t come to my blog or my Facebook feed and post your alternative facts in my space. I will unfriend you. I will block you. I will delete your Facebook posts and I will delete comments here if I have to. In return, I promise not to come to your space and post any proven facts or tell you that I think the POTUS is an irresponsible bully surrounded by people who will lie to support him (ie Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer) and people who got close to him in order to increase their own power base and agenda (Steve Bannon, Rex Tillerson.) You stay over there and I’ll stay over here, and we can get together when the subject is something we’re not polar opposites on. We’ll get along just fine this way. Respect my space and I’ll respect yours.

That being said, some of us feel as if we are living in a time of great adversity. We feel as if we were cheated during the election because our popular vote meant nothing for the second time that I can recall in my lifetime (Al Gore being the other one.) We believe the president (not going to capitalize it when he can’t even behave like one) is going to ruin our country, that he’s only there for the rich people, that the poor like myself are only going to suffer more under his leadership. We’re horrified by the way he uses social media to attack not only our allies (Australia) but our own federal judges (“so called” judges.) And we’re afraid of his ties to Putin, his closeness with Breitbart’s Bannon, the way he’s provoking Iran, needling the Israelis, banning Muslims and pretty much making the rest of the world community take a step back from us. He’s allowed Bannon to basically tell the world that the media needs to be shut up, restrained. His administration has been caught in numerous lies in the first three weeks and instead of apologizing for it they try to skew minds and reality by calling the lies alternative facts. That right there is where I personally took a step back.

When the government tries to get rid of or muzzle the media, when they spout lies that are proven to be untruths, and when they straight up push those lies on the people of this country, trying to make them believe that the truth is not the truth…that’s not a democracy. That’s Nazi Germany, Orwell’s 1984 and Nixon during Watergate. Which is why so many thousands of people have taken to the streets, something that has given me a spark of hope.

Let’s go to Dictionary.com for a moment and I’ll get back to the protests in a minute.

Fact [fakt]
noun
1.  something that actually exists; reality; truth:

2. something known to exist or to have happened:

3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true:

Yeah. No room for “alternative” facts there.  What the administration is saying may be alternative, but in no way are they facts. In actuality, they’re about as factual as the Bowling Green Massacre that Kellyanne Conway made up. And this is the pap that this administration is feeding us and insisting we eat. It’s no wonder we’re all nauseous.

Anyway, this adversity we live with daily, the fear that the global community will turn their backs on us because our POTUS is a bully and an authoritarian, the fear that he’ll let the apocalyptic Bannon, sitting on the National Security Council, talk him into eradicating radical Islamic terrorism by pushing the nuclear button, these are real fears that people live with daily now in this Trump ruled country. So how do we go about our daily lives now while living with very real fears?

Unfortunately, having lived the past year homeless, with fear a constant, daily companion, I’ve learned a thing or two. I can tell you unequivocally that yes, you can do it. No, it’s not optimal, but it’s doable. First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. Even someone as poor as me finds small ways to take care of myself whether it’s a bottle of special lotion with witch hazel from Mother’s Market for my neuropathy or a small bag of sugar free dark chocolate covered mints, it’s something that makes me feel good. And for those few moments that the lotion or the candy makes me feel good, I rise above adversity. I found out Friday morning that my friend and mentor Steve Duff had died the night before. The only thing that has made me feel good since the moment I found out and right now was those damned chocolates.

To rise above adversity, to flourish even, you have to commit to not giving in to it. Don’t let the fear mongering of our current government take away all the things you enjoy most in life. Don’t stay holed up in your home, watching the news, waiting for the next bad thing to happen.  Or conversely, don’t stay away from the news just because there’s the possibility of more bad stuff happening. With this administration, we can pretty much guess that more bad stuff WILL happen. But don’t let the fear keep you from being informed, don’t let them drive you away from the news or other shows that tell you what’s happening in the world and your local area. I watch the morning news because I want to know if there are protests scheduled locally. I want to know what my community is doing to fight back. I want to know if other cities are protesting. I find hope in the fact that so many people across this great nation (yes, it was always great and doesn’t have to be made great again) are taking to the streets in a show of solidarity against a man and an administration that would turn our democracy into an authoritarian society.

But to flourish, you have to continue to find joy in your life wherever you can. Hug your kids. Pet your furry kids. Cuddle them, cuddle your partner, your spouse. Watch your favorite shows, go to the movies. Eat the foods you love. Read books. Write and write and write. And post the good stuff!

I know I need to do more writing. The first new material I’ve written in more than two years, a military MM novella Extraction, came out Nov 18, my oldest brother’s birthday. I haven’t written a whole lot since but I need to.

And speaking of my brother reminds me that he always rose above adversity when the world was scary. My brother Tom marched with MLK. He belonged to the Democratic Central Committee and should have been at the Ambassador Hotel the night Bobby Kennedy died, but he got the Asiatic flu. He wore a “Legalize Marijuana” button in the late 60’s, something kids today probably can’t even comprehend as having been an issue so long ago. I remember him and my parents chanting “Impeach him!” during Watergate. Today, I see how many ways Trump is like Nixon.

I might have been young during the Nixon administration but I come from a family of individuals who were not afraid to be political, not afraid to tell me what was going on. Cesar Chavez visited my father’s barbershop in Gonzales, CA.  So did Leon Panetta when he ran for congress. Panetta knows my brother who has worked as a California lobbyist.  My brother Tom, at 76 years old, is still a voting member of the Democratic Party.  He’s never given up on democracy despite all the bad stuff he’s seen and lived through and causes and candidates he fought for — Vietnam, Watergate, assassinations, impeachments, protests and the eventual legalization of marijuana at least at the state level.

We shouldn’t give up either. We have options even though we feel as if everyone, everything is against us. Trump’s been put on notice as of last night that the judiciary isn’t going to stand for him making executive orders that are unconstitutional. They aren’t going to stand for him calling out our federal judges like a bully on a playground. And ultimately, more of us voted for Hillary than for him and he’s not untouchable. If Nixon can be impeached so can Trump. So just think about that for a moment, and then remember that we need to rise above adversity.

Join me in rising above, in flourishing during adversity. Let’s write and read and enjoy what we can in this life. If you feel bad just reading for pure enjoyment, go get a copy of All the President’s Men and read about history and the tenacity of two reporters determined to get the truth even if it brought down a presidency. I’ve read it before. It’s an amazing read. I’m going to read Switched by NJ Walker, about a guy who was switched at birth. It sounds like a really emotional, angsty read.

Speaking of angsty reads, I’m about 20K from finishing Out of the Pocket, the sequel or companion really to Scrambling. If you thought Scrambling was angsty, Out of the Pocket blows it out of the water. The first five thousand words of this book won the Rebecca Award a couple years ago. I wrote the rest of the book under the influence of Percocet and ended up having to scrap everything but that first 5K and start over. Now, it’s become a really heartbreaking story of two men torn apart by their jobs in the NFL.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to watch the news and see if there’s anything else good today. And even if there isn’t, I’m going to spend an hour reading and an hour writing before I head off to work on book covers for Louisa Bacio and JM Dabney and begin adding books to Sean Michael’s website. Have a great, flourishing Sunday!