Day 10: 30 Days of Christmas 2012

Nikki drew a winner for Day 9 and it’s…Susan W! Yay! Congrats, Susan! I’ll be emailing you tonight with some info.

Now, for this Monday morning, Day 10 of the 30 Days of Christmas, I have more MM authors for you and you are just gonna love this! Missy Welsh and Cat Grant with holiday releases plus a lil something from me. 😉

Missy Welsh – An Angel Gets His Wings

BUY LINK

Will closeted Mike make it through this year’s family Christmas without succumbing to the innocent charms of his long-lost “cousin” George?

Mike Sharp is in Little Rock, Arkansas, visiting his family for Christmas while his best friend Brian Bailey’s up north walking right into Mike’s plans to hook him up with his neighbor Trent. Unfortunately, it seems like someone’s conspiring to get Mike panting after his third cousin, twice removed (or something like that) named George Whitlock. George who keeps sneaking up on him, being all shy and cute, and then having the audacity to give Mike great big calf eyes that are just begging Mike to drop to his knees. Mike will not give in because, if he does, he could lose his entire family when they discover he’s gay.

Cat Grant – Fearless

BUY LINK

How can you plan for the future when escaping the past seems impossible?

After over a year together, Connor Morrison and Wes Martin decide to tie the knot. But an ethics complaint regarding their deeply non-traditional relationship threatens Connor’s job and Wes’s Ph.D. The fact that Connor tried to keep it from Wes—even with the best of intentions—makes the situation even worse and casts a pall over their plans for a Christmas wedding in New York.

It doesn’t help that Connor still treats Wes like glass, though Wes insists he’s recovered from the brutal assault he suffered a year and a half earlier. Wes may be okay, but Connor isn’t. Memories of taking a battered, terrified Wes to the emergency room that night still haunt him, and he can’t let go of the need to protect Wes from any and everything life might throw at him.

But Wes has had enough. Between the specter of the ethics complaint and Connor’s overprotectiveness, he’s already beginning to question their plans. Add in a family ashamed of and angered by his choices, and Wes might just leave Connor standing at the altar.

Lex Valentine – Afterburner, Breath of Heaven

Afterburner – BUY LINK

Sebastian “Bas” Marchetti has spent his life doing two things, hiding his sexuality and flying. Born into an aerobatic family, Bas learned to fly long before he could drive. After a stellar career in the military that encompassed a turn as a U.S.A.F. Thunderbird and a test pilot, Bas leaves the service when his father dies in order to take over operations of the Flying Marchettis. Fully out of the closet and unwilling to return to it, Bas struggles with the demons of his past military career when he meets test pilot Ryder “Flip” Beckett. Together, Ryder and Bas find a love that neither is willing to give up. With Ryder living the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, they struggle to have a normal relationship. Bas loves Ryder enough to be his dirty little secret. However, that’s not enough for Ryder who loves his man so much he’ll risk court martial to be with Bas.

Breath of Heaven – BUY LINK, TRAILER

Sebastian Marchetti and his husband Ryder Beckett are flying high since their retirement from the Air Force. They’re still young, still hot for each other and enjoying life as a married couple and members of the Flying Marchettis aerobatic team. When tragedy strikes their extended family, the couple become parents overnight and the demons of Ryder’s past return with a vengeance. With the Marchettis and the entire town of Forza pitching in to help, Bas and Ryder strive to make Christmas unforgettable for a special little boy and his newborn brother while laying to rest past and present pain.

I have a third Bas and Ryder book in the works. NASA wants Ryder and a man from Ryder’s past wants Bas. Oh, and speaking of stuff I have in the works, I have a Christmas story I’m working feverishing to finish in time for the holiday. The one with no name. Well, it has a name now. AND it has a cover. What do you think?

The sad man on the left is my broken dom Kellen and the tied up man on the right is my broken sub Haven. I’m about at the halfway point so wish me luck in finishing on time! BTW, the Breath of Heaven cover is my work too. I love Christmas covers!

Okay, so here’s the rules again, leave a comment on this post by midnight Pacific time tonight and tomorrow my family will pick a winner for the four books listed here. Great new holiday stories from my pals and two hot stories from me! Happy Holidays!

 

One Down More To Go

I finished the expansion and revision of Mating yesterday. I was so glad to have it done! Now, I’ve just got a partial to finish, my Father’s Day story and Fire Storm. I honestly can’t wait to get back to the Darkworld. I’ve missed it while writing all these contemporaries. But Runaways is out now (came out on Friday) and I’m sure Mating won’t be too far behind now that the hard part is done.

Writing has been going smoothly for the most part, if a little slow. Being tired a lot has slowed down the process for me. I’m still doing cover art, videos and now promo graphics for ads. And an occasional website. I’m about to start one for author Tim McGiveny. I’ve been looking at templates for his and I think I’ve got one he’ll like so it’s time for me to have him get his hosting. New websites are always so exciting!

The promo ads are a new thing for me sort of. I’ve done a few in the past but now I’ve put up some samples for GayRomLit. I quickly made some examples of ads in the different sizes yesterday at Ethan Day’s suggestion. He then pimped out the link and thus far I have one bite for creating an ad! Yay!

Nikki (aka Motley) will be coming home soon and to be honest, I’m really glad about that. I could use her help with some things and I missed her this past year while she was living with a roomie. Which reminds me that I was supposed to email her a to do list because she’s going to help me whip my website into shape since I haven’t had the time to do it. My book pages are a mess.

The day job is going really well these days. I have help now (yay!) and it frees me up to do some of the things that got backburnered when we were short staffed. For one, I need to work on cleaning up some stuff in our cemetery software database. Ugh. It’s a nasty task but it needs to be done and until recently, I haven’t had the time.

Another thing I’ve been doing at work is blogging! Yes, blogging. And coordinating the blog. Finding guest bloggers can be daunting when your topic is specific. Every now and then I actually have to write a post myself. Last Friday, I did that while in the midst of an IT emergency…our internet was down! Luckily, it was the carrier so there was nothing for me to fix other than reboot the firewall. The internet was down for only an hour or so but afterward I couldn’t reach the company blog because of a router issue with the carrier. Waiting around for them to fix stuff sucked. But I finally got the blog post up at 5 pm before I went home.

So yeah, been busy. Nothing new there. LOL And now I need to head off to the office where I have a lot of stuff to do today. I’ve got a full plate for sure! First, before I leave, here’s a Marcus!

Oh, yummeh! Have great Monday!

Repeat?

The Ariana finalists came out yesterday and I have two this year. As a winner last year, I wonder if this year will see me repeat. Possibly not. It’s always a stiff competition. There are more than a few talented cover artists out there. I’m not up against Anne Cain who is the best cover artist on the planet in my opinion, but Reese Dante is definitely very, very stiff competition.

Most artists work for one or two houses and some only do freelance stuff, preferring not to be tied to a house. And many of them work for a publisher and do a lot of covers for people who are self-publishing. I’ve a feeling that my cover for Debra Holland’s Sower of Dreams will be a fantasy entry for me in next year’s Ariana awards. It’s a lush cover that took more than half a dozen images to create and it doesn’t have a single person on it!

Aside from doing covers for authors who self-publish, I occasionally do covers for Pink Petal Books, Passion in Print and MLR Press. Last year’s win for me was a Pink Petal Books cover. This year the two finalists for Winterheart Design are Black Heart Down by SJ Frost, an MLR Press cover and Blown Away by DL Jackson, a Passion in Print cover. I love pretty much anything Shannon and Dawn write so I’m doubly pleased to be able to provide both authors with a little cross-promotion.

Now, the question is whether I can repeat and win an Ariana again this year. I have to admit I would be so very stoked to win again. I’m not being hopeful because as I said above, the competition is quite stiff, but I would really like to win a second year in a row. It gives me a little bit of cache to be able to say I have two Arianas. But we’ll see what happens in March. And if I lose, there’s always next year and Sower of Dreams. Besides, I’ve done a lot more covers in other genres this year. I’ve got several historical covers under my belt now and of course Debra’s fantasy trilogy. Having covers in more categories is a good thing.

Now, I need to show you a luscious Marcus for this Monday to be complete. I just cannot face a Monday without him any longer. This is what I get for having posted him for so many years of Mondays. I can’t handle Monday without him.

Working in his underwear. It doesn’t get any better than that for me! Well, unless he was nekkid. LOL

October is just around the corner now and I’ve got an October release the first week of the month and deadlines for two Christmas stories, both gay rom. I’m about 3K words from finishing the first one so I’m thinking I just might be right on time to my editor with it. The second one has hardly any words written but since it’s a short story of 8-10K words I hope to be able to write it fairly quickly. Then it’s back to a novella I’ve had a lot of trouble with. I’m determined to complete it before Christmas though so wish me luck!

Happy Monday!

Commute

When I think of commuting I am reminded of the time I used to drive from Huntington Beach to West LA and from Huntington Beach down to La Brea Tar Pits. Well, across the street from the tar pits actually. Those were gnarly drives. But I was younger then and didn’t think too much of the drives for quite awhile until it really started to get to be a drag because I was losing a really good chunk of my day sitting on the freeway. More recently, at least in the last 12 years that I’ve worked at the cemetery, I’ve had commutes into Santa Ana-Orange from Huntington Beach and Westminster, neither of which are much of a commute when placed beside the commute I used to have.

The thing about commutes is that I usually think of them as total freeway time. And in the past, for me anyway, they always have been mostly freeway time. The new commute has very little freeway time. Most of the time is spent on surface streets and a stint down my own road, Carbon Canyon. The canyon road reminds me of the highway between Salinas and Monterey, the one that winds past Laguna Seca. I’ve driven that road more times than I could ever count. After all it’s home turf for me and I lived there 29 years. I made a lot of trips down that road in nearly 30 years. Every time I go down Carbon Canyon Road I think of home as in where I grew up. But honestly, this canyon is becoming home to me now in a very short space of time. I like it so much in the canyon that I don’t mind the drive. As commutes go, it ain’t much of a commute and hardly any of it is spend with my foot on the brake inching my way up the freeway.

Sure, the Chino Hills residents use my road as a commuter short cut to their homes just over the county line into San Bernardino County. And yeah, that means that sometimes I do spend some time with my foot on the brake inching along. But it’s not on the freeway. It’s on the canyon road itself which is loaded with stuff to look at. Personally, I’m a little fascinated by the trees that were burned in the 2008 fire. I stare at them and stare at them as I inch along. Most of the canyon has grown back it’s vegetation so it’s not very burned out looking but I try to imagine what it must have looked like and it creeps me out a little. It’s still not much of a commute despite the crawling that sometimes occurs on Carbon Canyon Road. And I’m home in about 30-40 minutes.

Home’s the key word here. I love coming home. I love the canyon and the wildlife. The longer I’m here, the less that the word “home” means Monterey County. I guess I’ve found my place here in Southern California. I never would have thought it would be out at the edge of a once burned out canyon but there ya have it.

Since it’s Monday, it’s time for a Marcus.

That would make a nice avatar. He’s got great arms! Hope you all have a great Monday!

Coyote Take Out

The canyon where I live has a lot of wildlife. And cows. The neighbor next door said she had a rattlesnake in her yard recently and had to have another neighbor kill it. There’s owls and other birds of prey. And coyotes. The coyotes start singing around 11:30 each night. You can hear the older ones howl and the younger ones yip. We’ve been told not to let the babies out because of the predators. They are house cats so there’s no way we’d let them out. Although, before we got the security screen door, Neko managed to push out the bottom panel on the battered screen door that came with the house and she snuck out. Rott saw the panel down and bellowed, “NEKO!” She came scrambling back into the house, her chubby body sliding on the wood floors. She tried to get out a window once when we first moved in and got stuck, her little legs spinning as she tried to find purchase. Good thing she’s a chublet or she would have gotten out!

Anyway, one night last week Swirly the Guard Cat was sitting in the window sill of my author cave hissing. The window is on the front of the house with a view of the carport. It was open a little (not enough for one of them to squeeze out) and he saw/heard something outside. He’s a pretty good alarm. Anything, anyone comes into our carport and Swirly hisses. The closer they get to the window, the louder he gets until eventually he starts growling. He stopped hissing pretty quick though because the person in the carport was Rott.

Rott comes up to the window and the babies all crowd around as he starts to tell me why he’s wandering around outside at 1:30 am. He’d found a couple of coyotes in our yard stalking a baby possum. Or in Rott’s words, “Coyote Take Out.” He chased them off but they didn’t go any farther than our carport because of the presence of their snack to go. So Rott shooed them out of the carport into the street. While he was telling me about the baby possum and that he saw the rest of the coyote pack up the street, the coyote take out took a hike and made good his escape. With the possum gone, the next time Rott shooed the approaching coyotes, they left and joined the pack, running up the street and around the corner.

After that, Rott and I went to Denny’s for an early morning breakfast. The coyotes stalking the baby possum in our yard was pretty much the highlight of our week. Rott now tells the babies if they aren’t good, he’s going to put them outside to be coyote take out!

Work is going to be pretty crazy for me starting this week because my co-worker is leaving. I’ve no idea how I’m going to get all the work done and I’m seriously unhappy about this turn of events. So I’m hoping to get a bit of a jump on month end over the next couple of days before she leaves. After that, I don’t even want to think about how tired I’m going to be.

Between coyotes in my yard and my co-worker leaving, I need some serious cheering up which of course means I need a Marcus.

Oh, yum. He really does make my Mondays much better! Hope you all have a wonderful day!