Whole Lotta Workin’

I’ve got a whole lotta working going on. This week is shaping up to be a very busy one and that doesn’t even take into account the holiday. I’ve got a cover to do for a fellow OCC RWA member, some book trailers to knock out, and I need to finish my Christmas story Cupid Christmas. Add to that the fact that the Lords of Aether is shifting into a higher gear as we close in on our mid-December launch. I went to lunch with ZAM yesterday and we brainstormed and the upshot is that she’s joining the Lords of Aether with a character I’m really excited about. He’s a hooker. Sort of. LOL You’ll have to check out the site as we near launch and you’ll see his bio.

At the office, we had a bit of a server migration over the weekend. We virtualized one of the servers. I had nothing to do with that work but I need to check stuff out this morning. It’s a payroll commission processing week so I have to be on the ball with contracts and cash receipts. Luckily, my ladies in AR are really turning out to be great workers and I’m more happy than I can say to have them. I have no doubt that with their help we are gonna rock the commission processing!

I made the mistake of watching Food Network yesterday and now I’m dying for turkey. With my sink still kinda out of commission, I can’t cook, but I can buy a ready made dinner from the local grocer and I can warm it up in the oven and microwave. Besides, I have lots of work to do so it will be better if I’m not spending quality time with my hand up the turkey’s butt.

The day after Thanksgiving kicks off my 30 Days of Christmas giveaways. I have a lot of books lined up from a plethora of authors. There is something for everyone. I’ve one solid week of gay rom that features authors like Rick Reed, Ethan Stone, Kimberley Gardner, Barry Brennessel, and more. I’ve got new releases from Kate Douglas, Desiree Holt, Tara Lain and me!  I’ve got paperback books from KC Burn, Adelle Laudan, and Jasmine Aherne. There’s a romantic suspense day with books from Lisa Alexander-Griffin, Debbie Gould, Emily Wade-Reid and Jackie Diamond. And there are Christmas stories galore! I’ll wind up the giveaway on Christmas Eve with my newest Christmas story Cupid Christmas and a holiday story from my pal Z.A. Maxfield.

The 30 days kicks off on Black Friday with my paranormal The Wise Guy and Gambit from Kim Knox. I’m a HUGE Kim Knox fan and Gambit is a great read so the winner on Black Friday won’t be disappointed. And wait until you see the line up for the day I give away Fire Season…me, Neil Plakcy and Willa Okati! WOOT! I’m telling you, you will not want to miss a single day of this year’s 30 Days of Christmas giveaway.

Ah, now for my Marcus to warm up this cool Monday. Here’s another of my “retro” Marcus’s, one I posted several years ago.

Now, I suppose I should take myself off to work. There’s lots of frost out there Rott says so he’s worried about there being ice on the road. I kind of doubt there will be because so many people travel the road before I get out there, but I know how to be careful driving in the bad weather.  I’ll be back on Thursday to wish you all happy turkey day and remind you of my Christmas giveaway.

Everyone take care and have a great start to your Thanksgiving week!

 

Forgotten Monday

How the HELL did I forget last Monday? Must be the damn cold meds. Actually, the cold is gone. However, asthmatic that I am, the cough lingers. I’m dreading taking myself in to the doctor. I have enough stress without them telling me I have bronchitis or pneumonia. Although, I’m fairly certain I don’t have pneumonia. I’m not tired enough for that.

I guess forgetting last Monday isn’t nearly as bad as what I did in my latest manuscript. I got the galleys back yesterday and as I’m reading through them I discover a HUGE GLARING MISTAKE. Something I screwed up big time and my editor didn’t catch. I had my heroes getting out of bed on Christmas Eve. They have a discussion in the kitchen and go back to bed. Then in the next chapter one of them is lying in bed on Christmas morning thinking about the Christmas Eve festivities his family had.

HO. LY. CRAP.

I had to cut out the Christmas Eve stuff from the beginning of that chapter and move it in front of the Christmas Eve kitchen discussion. How the hell I got that all goobered up, I’ve no idea. But it sure gives you an idea of where my head has been lately. (Up my butt apparently.) I can’t believe I made such a big mistake and didn’t catch it until the last minute. Sheesh. I’m seriously glad I did catch it though. I would have been furious with myself if it had gone out the way it was.

The story is a sequel to my DADT novella Afterburner. Breath of Heaven is due out on December 15. Here’s the cover art:

All of us with Christmas stories at MLR Press get basically the same cover, but it’s 42 days of holiday stories which is pretty amazing. If you like gay rom, you’ll love this because there’s a line of awesome authors like you’ve never seen before.

It’s also reminded me that I’ll be doing my holiday giveaway again over at LexValentine.com. Every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas I’ll be giving away one book from my backlist (so that I end up giving away the entire backlist) plus some books from friends. I’ll be posting on my Facebook page and Twitter about it this week as I see what friends I can get to join in.

Now, how about a nice Marcus before battling the traffic? I could go for that! Here’s one of the first Marcus’s I ever put on this blog.

Oh, that’s nice!

Well, that’s it for me. Sorry about the forgotten Monday last week. I hope the announcement of the book giveaway for Christmas helps you not think too poorly of me and my spacey memory! LOL Have a great Monday!

NoH8

Last Tuesday, I took an impromptu vacation day and went to Los Angeles with Z.A. Maxfield. We went to a high school that was having a GLBT Fair. Yes, I heard a couple of whispers of “grannies” as I walked around so I know my gray hair didn’t go unnoticed. However, the kids weren’t exactly the reason I was there. I went to get my picture taken by celebrity fashion photographer Adam Bouska. Adam, who shares my birthday today, is the co-founder of the NoH8 Campaign. The photos he took were for NoH8.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the photos. Silver duct tape on the mouth. White shirts. The NoH8 tattoo on the cheek. Like this one of Adam himself.

The campaign began as a silent protest by Adam and his partner Jeff Parshley. The duct tape symbolizes voices being silenced by California’s Proposition 8 which amended the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The photos took off like a rocket with ordinary people being photographed as well as celebrities and people like Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach and  Lt. Dan Choi who were activists calling for the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

As authors of gay romance, as well as people who believe in equality in all things for all people, ZAM and I had a deep seated need to do this, to have our photos taken by Adam for this campaign. And yes, both of us will be displaying these photos prominently on our websites.

This campaign resonated with me on personal and professional levels. On the personal side, my high school sweetheart is gay. I love the man dearly and the idea that I can marry Rott, but David can’t marry Vince – when they clearly even have a better relationship than Rott and I have – just pisses me the eff off. My parents raised me to ahbor injustice and my heart breaks for couples who would love to get married but can’t. Now, I’m one of those people who also feels that it’s a piece of paper and in my heart, I know who I belong with regardless of the legalities of this country. I know David is one of those people too. We feel things deeply in our hearts and that is where our commitment comes from. We could show that commitment to another without a marriage license. But the very fact that politics don’t allow David to have that license should he choose to go that route with his relationship makes me very angry.

On the professional side, as an author with a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell novella where my heroes have to go to Massachusetts to be married, supporting this campaign is a no brainer. In Afterburner, my heroes get married in Massachusetts, a state that allows same-sex marriage, and California accepts that marriage as legal despite not allowing gays to be married in the Golden State. In the sequel to Afterburner, which is a Christmas story I’ve just finished, my heroes are retired from the Air Force and happy that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone. I don’t say it in the story, but I know my guys and they aren’t happy that same-sex marriage in California is still not legal. Breath of Heaven, an Afterburner Christmas sequel, will be available at MLR Press on December 15.

So ZAM and I did this and we had a great time. Adam and I wished each other an early Happy Birthday and the happiness in the man just radiated out to everyone who was there. He’s a good soul doing a good thing for mankind. And ZAM and I feel really good to be part of it. The only thing that would have made our day better was if fellow author James Buchanan had been able to join us.

 Now, it’s time for someone a lot more beautiful than me! It’s still Monday, although it’s Halloween, so it’s time for a Marcus!

Marcus does a lot of stuff for charities like Peta so he’s not a celeb who doesn’t give back to the world. It’s one of the things I like about him.

Now, before I go, if you’re thinking of reading and not leaving a comment, I’m going to give you a reason to comment today. One lucky commenter will win their choice of a book from my backlist. Can’t beat that now can you? Say Hello or Happy Birthday or Cool Marcus, whatever, and you could be reading one of my books by tomorrow night!

Happy Halloween to you all! Don’t eat too much candy! I’m off to have birthday cake with my coffee so have a good one!

Shiny Stuff

I’ll admit to being distracted this weekend by shiny stuff. To be honest, they were photos. I was looking for one kind of photo to do a cover and found something else that would work on a different cover. And so on, and so on. Every time I’d look for something, I’d end up with something for a different project. They all had to be done, but they didn’t have to be done in the order in which I did them.

Probably one good reason I got distracted so easily is this darn cold. It’s on the way out, but the lingering cough makes me feel like I’ve gone a few rounds with the heavyweight champion of the world and taken every blow to the ribs and gut. The problem is the way women’s muscles work when they cough. What tightens and spasms are the ones over the ribs and lower abdomen, the ones on the sides of the waist and the groin muscles. Apparently, or so my doc says, men use different muscles when they cough, muscles they use a lot anyway so they don’t get the same muscle aches as women when they have a bad cough. Anyway, every time I cough, it leaves me gasping for air and with muscles spasms sort of like the heaves. I lose track of what I’ve been doing and end up off on tangents. If the work I did this weekend wasn’t so darned pretty, I’d be growling “Eff you, Cold!” for more reasons that the obvious ones of discomfort.

So here’s what I ended up with at the end of the weekend. A total count of three banners, a Twitter background page, an avatar, and four covers. None of which were for me. The stuff that hasn’t been approved yet, I won’t post, but the stuff that’s already been finalized is below.

So pretty! So sexy! Which leads me to something – or rather someone – who is also pretty and oh, so sexy! It’s time for a Marcus!

I want to pillow fight with him! Of course, I don’t look that good in my underwear…Leastways, not any more! *Winces at the thought of my upcoming birthday* That does remind me of something though. This year my birthday is on a Monday so I think I’ll give away some books. Make sure you come back on Halloween for a chance to win.

Okay, that about wraps it up for me and my sore ribs. Have yourselves a great Monday!

Flu Shot

Yeah, I got one last week. The nurse wouldn’t give one to a co-worker with a cold. She said the shot lowers your immune system and if you have a cold you’ll get worse.  Well, that explains all the people who get sick after they get the shot. Their immune system must have already been low and they must have already been sickening.  The shot just hastens it. Or if your system is just weak, whoever has a bug can give it to you much easier after you have the shot.

So my co-worker with his cold stood next to me and found out he couldn’t get the shot. I sat down, got the shot and obviously breathed in his germs or something because voila! I have a cold. Sniffles, sore throat, croaky voice, cough, and a fever. Unpleasant to say the least. And I’m joking about my co-worker getting me sick. I’ve been run down for weeks because of stress. I’m sure it wouldn’t have taken much to get me sick after the shot took me down another peg or two.

Rott has been feeding me vitamins, Power-C vitamin water, soup and cupcakes all weekend. Okay, the cupcakes were my idea. This morning, I still had the fever. So I’m up for a bit checking my work email to make sure nothing needs my attention from home (yes, I am the computer geek who can get on the network from home) and then it’s back to bed and maybe some downtime with Z.A. Maxfield’s Book of Daniel. I need to read that one.

Anyway kudos to all of you who got your shots and didn’t get shot down. This is the first time it’s happened to me.  I rather think I’m gonna lose my voice. Some of you are probably thinking that’s a good thing and you might be right. 😉

Here’s a Marcus and then I’m off to bed to let the babies pile on me.

He looks uber healthy there. I need healthy so I’m hoping the photo rubs off on me. *snort* Have a better than I’m having Monday!