Now Comes the Night

This past week has been a rough one. Friends are having trouble with all sorts of bad things. I have my share of stuff too and stress over them is really bogging me down. Despite where I work and what I write, mortality isn’t something I think about every day. At least not in a conscious, personal way. Yet, a few things have happened that reminded me that I don’t live in the Darkworld where the immortals die mostly when they feel like retiring, giving up their bodies, and moving on to the Afterlife.

Two of the nicest people I know have had tragedies befall them. Both things happened rather suddenly. One friend had a spouse diagnosed with cancer. The other lost his partner. The devastation they feel is an emotion I’ve felt before and I have great empathy for them both. I’ve shed tears for them both. I hate that anyone has to go through this kind of pain. Yet, from it we tend to rise like phoenixes from the flames, the steel of our blades – our spirits – tempered and made stronger by the fire.  Cliche, I know, yet so very, very true.

In the case of my friend, author Jason Edding, I was reminded yet again of what may be a landmark case for gays. Greene vs Sonoma County is a story that put the GLBT writer and reader community in an uproar. Blogger Teddypig of the Naughty Bits decided to do something about it and All Romance eBooks took a leaf from the pages of his blog. I’ve tossed in my support by giving 25% of my net proceeds from my GLBT book Fire Season and Christmas Catch for copies purchased from ARe through the month of May.  My publisher has matched that. And then what happened to Jason brought the reality of this case into a startling focus.

When Jason’s partner died, he faced not only the loss of his loved one, but the loss of his home and belongings, his way of life. You see, they never made provision for Floyd’s passing. Now, in Clay Greene’s case they might have had that paperwork  in place, I forget, but either way, the county ignored his rights.  This could have happened to Jason too. I’m sure it was in the backs of the minds of all of us at MLR Press as we banded together to help Jason. No way was my friend going to be the next Clay Greene.

It does remind all of us that we should plan for the future in every conceivable way.  Gays especially need to protect themselves and their partners by pre-planning which is something that isn’t just about funerals but about all the things connected to a serious illness or death.  If something happens to YOU, where does that leave your significant other? Can they pay the mortgage? The rent? And even het couples, if they are unmarried, partners have no rights no matter how long they have lived together.

You might think this is a depressing topic for a Monday, but it’s not. It’s a timely topic considering all the stuff that’s gone on with people I know in the past weeks. Even Motley, who’s been driving back and forth from Corona to go to school…I reminded her that her boyfriend is not her next of kin and that she needs something in her wallet telling authorities who to call in an emergency.  The thought of something happening to her scares me. When she reassured me that she had something in her wallet I felt better. I can’t stop bad things from happening, but I feel better that we’ve made an attempt to put plans into place should that occur.

So I sent Jason an audio book of Notturno so that the silence in his home wouldn’t be so overwhelming.  I remember that silence well and I knew his need for a distraction from it. We’ve all been talking to him in Google Talk trying to keep his spirits up so he can deal with the new changes in his life as well as his grief. If you’re so inclined, feel free to stop by the post I put up on his site and leave him a message. The kindness of others, even strangers, has meant a lot to him. Showing him that he’s not alone helps immensely.

Before I get to Marcus I’m going to share the video I posted on Jason’s site. Just a little Rob Thomas this Monday morning. 🙂

Oh, it’s my favorite part of Monday now! I need a Marcus to sustain me! It’s going to be a looooong day I know. (I got up at 5 am. UGH.) *sigh* How pretty is that body, eh?

Before I go I’d like to invite you all over to my Lex Valentine blog on Wednesday when guest blogger, author Karenna Colcroft, talks about trust…and anal sex! *wink*

Have a great Monday!

Whew!

I’m done. With Ride the Lightning. Sent it off to my publisher last night. Yeah, there’s edits to be done (I used the phrase “like X spilling through a window” three effing times! You’d think I would have a better grasp of the English language, wouldn’t ya?), but I’m a good girl and spin through the edits pretty quickly. RTL will be out December 3.

With RTL Dave2 makes his literary debut, following in the footsteps of Karl (Karl with a K), Gooster (Corey Green), Marty (the Fairy Godfather), and Vahid who is the star of RTL. In this book, Dave2 is David Forrester, a powerful Magia (wizard) who runs a BDSM club called Far From Heaven. Dave is the best friend of the heroine, so he spends the length of the book wanting to kick Vahid’s ass. Unfortunately for Dave, Vahid is the one who gets to have all the sex in the book. In a gazebo, against the wall, in a bed, on the floor, in a shower, in a hay field (in shifted form), and in a BDSM dungeon.

Note for Jennifer Leeland: I think the wall sex scene in this one is hotter than the one in Hot Water.

Not as much humor in this book as there has been in previous books. Oh there’s a touch or two and there is my trademark of a running gag of some kind. In Hot Water, it was Eden’s pretty pink pussy. In Fire Season, it was Garret being a bean counter. In RTL, it’s the fact that Emily loves meat – steak mostly.

Now that I’m done with the novel (it’s longer than Fire Season) it’s time to move on to Christmas. I’ve got three holiday short stories to crank out, one of which will be FREE. I love that word.

On the personal front, I’ve been battling my damn arthritis and I think I’m starting to have hip issues. It sucks majorly. I’ve been able to manage my pain pretty well without having to suck down a lot of meds which are bad for my liver and stomach. Lately though, I’ve been eating Tylenol for dinner. Never a good thing.  Gonna have to put my thinking cap on and figure out how to better manage the pain. I don’t like sucking down meds.

For those of you who know Motley (aka Nikki), I’m not sure if I mentioned it but she and Tyler (her boyfriend of three years and her first real love) have broken up.  It wasn’t a bad breakup in the sense that they hate each other and all that shit, but it was a horrible breakup nonetheless. Distance did them in. He lives in Bakersfield now and we live in Orange County and the distance thing just doesn’t work. I think they were both heartbroken, but they just aren’t in the same place in their lives either.

Motley’s kind of lost these days and all she really does is draw on her tablet and play WoW. I figure she’ll come out of her tailspin eventually. We all did when we lost our first love. It’s hard to watch from the Mom-sidelines though, especially when I catch her crying.

As for me, things are… okay. Not great. Not bad. But okay. Bearable. Liveable.  Communication would make things better I think, but there’s a small percentage of me that says it wouldn’t, that it would blow everything the hell up, and that keeps me from pushing the issue. The little devil’s advocate inside me pokes me with his pitchfork and says, “But wouldn’t you rather KNOW?” while my brain tells him, “Fuck off. Half a loaf is better than none asshole.” So that’s where I am. Loverly, ain’t it?

So now I’m down to needing a very pretty Marcus this Monday. I picked four winners at the Breeder’s Cup this weekend (Goldikova, Conduit, Dancing with Silks, and Zenyatta) so between that and finishing Ride the Lighting, I feel like a bit of a celebration.

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Isn’t that purdy? *sigh* Almost has a John Stamos look to him. Cept that Marcus has more muscle. HEH. Alrighty, I’m off to work. You all have yourselves a great Monday! MUAH!

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Old and New

In IT news… the damn board still isn’t moved. I keep getting errors. I need the SQL database god to come and snap his fingers and make it all magically move to where it’s supposed to go. I’m paying hosting on a site that isn’t up because I can’t move the damn thing. I may have to pay someone to do this. You’re wondering what this has to do with my title, aren’t ya? I’m trying to move an OLD message board to a NEW domain and hosting company. But the fucker isn’t cooperating. Or I’m just not smart enough to do this.

Moving on to other more pleasant subjects… My eyes are old. Officially that is. Yes, the doc gave me NEW reading glasses. Normally, the OLD part woulda depressed me. However, I was just happy to see clearly again and stop suffering from extreme exhaustion and major headaches. Anything within reach of my arms is a little out of focus for me now. Over the counter glasses from Walgreens helped, but I started feeling sick all the time especially the more I wore them. Turns out one eye is worse than the other so my prescription glasses address that and the lenses are different not the same. I worked all weekend on edits and Ride the Lightning and wow! What a difference!

On a side note about Ride the Lightning, there’s a character named Dave in this book. He’s a Dom who runs a BDSM club called Far From Heaven. He’s also Magia, one of the magical community in the Darkworld, so basically… he’s a wizard. He bears a superficial resemblance to my favorite Dave, but has no monkey sidekick. Maybe I should change that. I mean, every wizard has a familiar right? The book is starting to pick up speed and Vahid is now determined to save his self-destructive mate Emily. I’ll have to post a snippet when I’m a little deeper into the story.

Something happened recently and I didn’t blog about it in part because I usually don’t delve into my past a whole lot here. Anyway, more than twenty years ago, when I was pregnant with Motley, someone showed me what it means to truly be a friend. Kim Williams is ten years younger than me, but the woman has a heart of gold. I spent my pregnancy sick, broke, depressed, upset, freaked out, and just about any other emotion you could name. I literally had nothing. And I was so sick I ended up in the hospital the last six weeks of my pregnancy. It was one of the worst times of my life. I thought I was gonna die.

Through it all Kim was there. She took me to the doctor. She organized all her friends and my friends and took donations. She had the guys paint the used crib my roommate found at a yard sale. I mean, it was amazing. It went far beyond her making me eat and nagging me to take my vitamins. Just remembering what she did brings tears to my eyes. I felt so incredibly alone during that period and she made a major effort to show me that I wasn’t. There are very few people from my past that I love and admire more than Kim.

Sadly, we lost touch over the years. Mostly since I came to Southern California and more so when I moved to Orange County. My life with Rott has had a lot of ups and downs. Dealing with it on a daily basis didn’t leave much left over for anything else. A couple weeks ago Kim’s high school had a reunion. Somehow, and I sorta forget how, I had an old friend of hers on my Facebook. At the reunion, friends talked Kim into getting on Facebook and that is how we found each other again. I saw the notice of the reunion photos on her friend’s account and went to look at the photos. And there she was. Looking a lot like her mom these days but still with the long beautiful blonde hair and big eyes I remembered.

I don’t think I can find the words to say what it meant to me to find her again. I’m a sucky ass correspondent. I don’t write. I don’t call. Hell, lately since Rott’s been home, I don’t even Twitter and I miss it a lot but there are just not enough hours in the day at the moment. Something I’m hoping to rectify soon so I can have a better balance with things and have some time to enjoy chatting with friends and blogging more about the weird shit in my life.

At any rate, I’m a bonehead about keeping in touch with people I care about especially when I’m under pressure. I missed Karl’s birthday. Haven’t called Hilly like I promised. Keep forgetting to send Dave his prize… but I’m trying to make a more conscious effort to not let friendships – old and new – fall by the wayside. Finding Kim again is an important milestone. I really can’t afford to lose more people in my life. If you want to see the woman who singlehandedly kept me together and made it possible for Motley to be here today, you’ll find her on my Facebook. Kim Williams-Potts. One of my oldest, and even though I might not show it putz that I am, dearest, dearest friends.

So now for some Marcus. I need some this Monday. It’s month end at work and payroll so I’ve got tons of work to do and while I love my job, I hate being in the pressure cooker. I really need a Marcus to ease the stress.

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That goofy little smile makes me laugh. Laughter is good for the soul I hear. So all of you have a chuckle at the expense of Marcus’ goofy smile and make your soul feel better. Have a great Monday!

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Bullet Rider

So I have this guest blog post at a review site today. It’s title is Six With a Bullet. The reason for the title is that Fire Season is now #6 on All Romance eBook’s Top Ten List. This sort of equates to being the #6 most sold book at Barnes and Noble. ARe is one of the biggest distributors (e-bookstores) on the internet.

Because of riding this bullet up the bottom half of the top ten, I’ve been invited to be on ARe’s Blog Talk Radio show What’s Hot in Romance. It’s been awhile since I did any radio, but I’m sure I’ll remember how it works. I’ll prolly get a tad nervous because, after all, this isn’t Jester or Karl both of whom I’ve met and love. The show is on at 9:30 EST tonight.

I finished two novellas over the weekend thanks to the Word Wars ladies who kept cracking the whip. One is due tomorrow and I need to tweak on it some tonight. It’s not as polished as I would like it to be and it’s not going to get a crit either before it goes to the editor. I’m bummed. So many things have taken up my time and I’ve had some issues with this story. I think I need to break up my M/M writing sprees a bit. Doing a bunch of them in a row is very tough. It’s not an easy genre to write in the first place. You’re stuck saying he he him him his his name name name over and over again until you can’t figure out yourself whose arm, leg, lip, or dick you meant. I’ll be writing some good old fashioned BDSM when this over. It will be a welcome relief!

So here’s the part of Monday everyone but the straight men like. It’s that Marcus part. Here’s one of my all time favorite Marcus images. I just need this today. He can do my laundry anytime.

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If you get a chance stop by Socially Dead. I bought Motley a tablet with my royalties and she’s put up some awesome new artwork. Hope you all have a spectacular Monday!

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Drumroll Please!

I has winnahs. Many winnahs. This was soooo much fun. Louie was asleep so he couldn’t pick a winner like last time.

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Last year for Blog Reader Appreciation Week, Motley drew a name out of a Dooney bag. This year, she just picked numbers and I looked to see whose comment was that number.

So here are this year’s Blog Reader Appreciation Week winners!

Winner of the Goodie Bag is Comment #22 DEBBY!

Winner of the Snarkcoaster is Comment #33 KIMMY L!

Winners of a book are Comments:

# 25 – Del

#1 – Maurya

#15 – Christina Engels

#2 – Trinity

#6 – Val Pearson

#16 – RachieG

#38 – Debbie Tsikuris

#19 – Bunny

Last, but never least, is the Sex Toy mug. The winner of this prize is no stranger to you. Somehow, I could not persuade Motley to accompany a package of Blogography cards to the great Northwest unless the Dave Monument was complete. Still, she did call out #11 last which makes Dave2 the winner of the SexToy mug.

Winners need to contact me at winter at winterheart dot com before the next Marcus Monday is posted. So if you know a winner, pass the word along! If you won a book, you need to include the title of the book you wish to receive. If you won the goodie bag, snarkcoaster, or mug I need a mailing address to send the prize to.

I know Maurya is taking a copy of Fire Season. However there are 8 books in all to choose from. Just please be aware that The Pixie Prince is out July 3, Fire Season on July 9, and Runaways on July 14 or 21. I don’t have ARCs for any of them yet, but if you choose one of these, I’ll send it as soon as I have it. If you didn’t win a book and wanted to, you will have other chances! Check out the SPOTS page at LexValentine.com for more info. Also, when I participate in Karl’s Summer of Love, you could win a book there too!

Here’s the book blurbs to help you choose:

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Underwear model Max Fever has a problem. He’s just become the Pixie Prince and his inheritance includes big golden wings that won’t let him sleep on his back. Max has to find a soft mattress or spend the rest of his days with a bruised behind. An enigmatic waiter named Marty takes Max to club Carpe Noctem to meet a vampire who has a space foam mattress. Max falls in love with the mattress and its owner, vampire Bliss Wilde. Will the tragic pasts of Bliss’ brother and Max’s best friend become a roadblock to their bonding?

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As the pack Alpha, Roul Verlaine always looked out for his twin brother Ranulf. Now, Ran’s mated and run off to New York City. Deciding to check up on his twin, Roul hires the Watcher Agency to follow Ran and his new mate. But when Roul arrives at Watcher, the owner is not what he expected. Morgan Kale is a rare white werewolf, a lone wolf. She’s not looking for a mate so when Roul walks into her office and her senses start pinging, she’s not exactly happy about it. With Roul only in New York for three days, Morgan has to decide whether to tell him they are mates… or let him walk out of her life forever.

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Werewolf Ranulf Verlaine meets vampire Dante Allerton on a train bound for Paris. Overwhelmed by desire, the couple let their senses take over and before the train ride is through, they’ve become mates. Ranulf must break free of the pack that his twin brother rules while Dante cuts the controlling ties of her two older brothers. The two must quickly deal with the burdens of their pasts in order to run toward the promise of a future together.

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Vampire Elysia Granville gets more than she bargained for when she attends the Undertaker’s Ball on Halloween. She’s looking for a one night stand, but the man she chooses is Declan Antaeus, a home and hearth black dragon who has had a secret crush on her for years. Can the powerful dragon make the commitment shy vampire extend one night into forever?

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Black dragon Eden Antaeus is a bad girl. Or so her brother Sean would have her believe. When Sean tells Eden she’s the Queen of Kink, someone who can’t get off on normal sex, Eden runs straight to the vampire club Carpe Noctem to find someone to have vanilla sex with. What Eden finds is Colin Granville, her brother Declan’s new brother in law. Desire burns hot between them despite the lack of surnames and after one night together, they both want more. Getting past the discovery that their siblings are married, Colin teaches Eden that she’s not the Queen of Kink and Eden finds a love, and a life, she never expected to have.

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Black dragon Holden Antaeus isn’t looking for a mate. His life is filled with family, work, and dating. Women adore him and he’s never short of offers for sex, but a relationship isn’t something he’s interested in. When Holden’s brother Sean hires a new executive for Antaeus International, Holden’s whole world, and everything he’s ever believed about himself, is blown to bits. Garret Renquist is a green dragon, intelligent, witty, bi-sexual, and hot for Holden. Despite the fact that Holden is positive he’s heterosexual, the moment he meets Garret, something happens inside him. What follows is a journey through stereotypes and ingrained beliefs as Holden struggles with the fact that his destined mate is a man.

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Suffering from the loss of the only man she’d ever loved, Maris tries to fill her life with other things, only to find that it doesn’t work. Even after 15 years, she misses the man she left behind. Aching with despair and loneliness, she leaves all the online communities she belongs to. Alex suffers from the loss of a woman he let walk away. Determined not to let that happen again, he sends Maris an email asking her not to leave the forum. A flurry of escalating emails leads to a meeting where both Maris and Alex receive the surprise of their lives… and a past love is rediscovered.

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Randall Wise is the quintessential good guy. However, all of his friends are married and he’s still single. Rand is positive that good guys finish last at love and decides he needs to change if he’s ever going to find the woman for him. Brenna Thorne is a klutzy but cute would be witch who moves in next door to Rand. Men always think of Brenna like a sister. They never see her as girlfriend or mate material. Brenna longs for a man of her own who sees her sexy side and all the love she has to give. A little magic from Rand’s godparents, a familiar who isn’t a familiar, and a host of well meaning, but surprising friends help Rand and Brenna see that all you need to find your mate is a heart that is open to love.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you all for reading Sunlight Sucks!
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