Shed Some Light

Rott had some store credit at Home Depot so yesterday he got me a new desk lamp. It’s a cute thing with a tulip shaped shade made of plastic so if the babies knock it off, it’s not gonna shatter. When I turned it on, I was shocked at how dusty my desk was. All that dirt hidden by a lack of light. Ew. Time for Motley to do some Swiffering and cleaning with antibacterial wipes.

Love the lamp though. I was working on a book trailer video for author Melissa Mayhue and the light just made all the difference when working late at night. My eyes weren’t straining and I wasn’t getting tired as quickly. That Rott can sometimes be a very smart man. I’m just really glad he got me the lamp.

In the last week, I’ve become a lot more hopeful about life in general. I will be the first to admit that I can be pretty cynical about people and the world we live in, but sometimes things happen that change your view. So last week someone did something incredibly nice for me. Like unbelievably nice. The kind of nice that I have not seen in many, many years. You know who you are. You know what you did and I owe you the hugest hug ever if we ever meet.

Having my faith somewhat restored in humanity helped make a lot of things a lot less of a chore and I felt very productive this weekend. Did some cover art and romance trading cards for clients. Finished Melissa’s trailer. Did some more work on my trailers for GayRomLit. And I had some nice fan mail. Not just about my work in general, but specifically about Scrambling and Ride the Lightning. I love fan mail. It’s one of the reasons I keep writing.

In other news, I’ll be guest blogging in support of Scrambling at KT Grant’s on Thursday. On Saturday, I’ll be at the OCC RWA chapter’s birthday bash. It’s a really nice meeting and luncheon at the Embassy Suites. On Sunday, I’ll be blogging for the chapter on cover art at the Slice of Orange blog. The following week I will be off to New Mexico with James Buchanan for GayRomLit but I’ll still have some guest blog posts going up – Louisa Bacio’s on the 16th and HC Brown’s on the 18th. And we welcomed some new authors over at Flirty Author Bitches so make sure you check them out soon.

Anyway, I’m rushing to try to make some money so I can get my promo materials for GayRomLit. So far, not many bites. I may have to go to NM with very little in the way of “swag.” I had a lot of ideas for inexpensive stuff, but life kinda put the kabosh on it all. I have to print my scrapbook pages (on purple paper) and dig out what little leftover swag I have from last year and pray that maybe I’ll get a couple of commissions so I can order my romance trading cards for my Air Force pilots and NFL players. Cross your fingers for me!

Now, how about some inspiration for this Monday morning?

That’s the newest cover from Winterheart Design for MLR Press author Jambrea Jo Jones. Jambi loves it so all is right in my artistic world! Have a great Monday!

I’d Rather Freeze

You know those people who retire to Florida and Southern California because of the weather? They’re nuts.  It was so hot here all last week that we checked Weather.com religiously looking for a break in the heat. It said we’d get that after Saturday and that the following week would be cooler. Damned liars! The forecast  now is for another week of this extreme heat. It’s so bad that we were watching Harry Potter last night, looking at the snow and white out conditions and wished we were there. Rott was so hot he wished he was there bare chest and all. I told him he’d give the word “chesticles” a whole new meaning. He didn’t care. He’s just tired of being too hot.

The truth of the matter is that I probably wouldn’t have chosen to come to Southern California to live had it just been my choice. My brother wanted to come here when Nikki was a baby and he sort of overrode me. That was back in 1992. I’ve been here ever since and I’ve never been a fan of the weather as beautiful as it can be sometimes. I’m from the central coast of California where the average temperature is 68 degrees. I miss that weather. And if it came down to what weather I’d prefer 90 degree heat or 30 degrees and snow…I’d take the snow. I’d much rather freeze than sweat. So pray for me this week. I’ll be melting…

One good thing about this week is that I have a new release! The new longer version of Mating is releasing this week at Ellora’s Cave. Since fellow EC author Kathy Kulig also has a release on the 15th, she invited me to be interviewed on her Passion Sense blog. So look for me there on the 16th. Mating can be purchased at Ellora’s Cave. Here’s the BUY LINK.

Mating is the companion story to Runaways which came out in April. The two books are stand alone but together they tell the story of twin werewolf brothers finding their mates. There’s love, lust, duty, passion, guilt, fear and a whole lot of sex going on in these two books. They’re non-stop action and in my biased opinion, totally worth checking out! 😉

If you want to know what I’ve been up on the graphics front at Winterheart Design, I’ve done covers recently for Ally Blue, Barry Brennessel, Janet Quinn, Rowan Malloy, Cari Z., Karenna Colcroft, Heather Kuehl, AKM Miles and Rick Reed. In fact, I just made a cool Facebook cover for Rick Reed for the release of his book Rent, the one I did the cover for. So keep and eye out for that. I’ve also pretty much completed work on a new website look for Raine Delight which also includes a matching Facebook cover.

That being said, I think today’s Monday image will be Rick’s Facebook cover. I think it looks hot! (Although not hot like the weather here. Ugh.)

Well that’s it for me today. I need to get to the office where I hope they’ve cranked up the AC just a little. I had to use my desktop fan all last week because of the heat. I’m miserable can’t you tell? 😉  Hope you all have a wonderfully cool Monday!

Coming Home

Yup, yup. The baby is coming home. Her roomie is graduating and moving away. I am glad to have her back because she is a lot of help for me especially when I’m going through all the health issues I’m going through. (Getting old sucks.) I know Rott’s not exactly jumping for joy, but he seems okay with it. And the babies (cats) will be ecstatic. They adore her! I don’t relish sharing my computer or getting used to having another body in the house, but those annoyances are really small to be honest. The pros outweigh the cons in this instance and I’ll get used to having her underfoot again. She is my baby girl after all. (Who will be 23 on May 16! Where does time go?)

I’ve been doing a lot of ads for authors going to GayRomLit lately so I made Winterheart Design a little “commercial” so to speak. When I uploaded it, it couldn’t be seen. Grrrr. Used to be YouTube would email you if the music wasn’t something they had a license for. No more emails apparently. Grrrrr.  I changed up the music and the commercial for Winterheart Design is now live on my YouTube channel. Still…grrrr.

I’m off to a dr’s appointment now so I’ll post my Monday Marcus and skedaddle.

Shirtless in jeans…oh, yum.

Oh, yeah. In case you didn’t see my Facebook page…Loose Id requested the full manuscript of my NFL story. Woot! Now I need to hurry and finish it! Have a great Monday everyone!

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!

To the Bone

I’ve been working my fingers to the bone and some of it feels like it’s for free. A bunch of cover art, a lot of writing, some website work…Enough stuff that I can’t even get to my own author website which has non-existent and messed up book pages. (I really, really need to fix that.) But there are rewards for what I do. When I write, I have releases and those bring in royalties. When I do covers, mostly I get paid right away for them, for which I am grateful because with any cover there is an outlay of money on the artist’s part to create the cover. If I spend my grocery money for the week making three covers and I don’t get paid for two weeks on them, we don’t eat. Which is why I sometimes wonder why I agreed to do some covers and be paid based how well the book sells. This goes hand in hand with why the heck I wrote a story for the M/M Goodreads group for free and why you can download Breathe Me In at All Romance eBooks tomorrow for free.

So here’s the deal. I thought I’d give the new cover thing a try because I thought it might bring my work to the eyes of other publishers and authors who are looking to self-pub and need covers.  I thought it might be a good investment in terms of getting my work in front of more people and a different audience.

The same goes for the Goodreads story. This group has nearly 6,000 members. I’m willing to bet a lot of them don’t know me and/or haven’t read my work. Doing the prompt for their Love is Always Write event is a chance for those members to get to know my work. If they like it, they could go looking for my backlist (damn, need to fix my website!) in order to find other books they might want to read.

So you could say that both ventures are an experiment. Obviously, if the cover art one doesn’t start paying out more than I’ve paid in, it won’t be a viable venture long term. I’m keeping track of what I spend and will compare it to what I make to see if this is something I should continue with. It’s only one publisher, if I decide it’s not working out, I can stop. The other publishers pay me up front, one directly via Paypal (for which I’m grateful) and the other via Paypal echecks which means I get paid in about 4 days. Sometimes the wait sucks, but at least it’s not quarterly.

With writing, you always have to wait to get paid if your publisher is a small indie press.  Sales come in and then the pubs pay out royalties (unlike the big NYC houses that pay an advance and then you have to earn that out via sales.)  I’m used to royalties trickling in from my different publishers at different times of the month. It’s cute when Rott calls me at work to tell me I got a check from “The Cave.” Some pubs pay with a check mailed to me and others via direct Paypal or Paypal echeck.

So I’m working my fingers to the bone to get all my projects done as quickly as possible. Now, that the Goodreads story is done, I’ve got to finish my expansion of Mating which shouldn’t take long. After that, I’ve got two more manuscripts to work on. One is a novella (probably about 15-20K) for MLR Press’s Father’s Day releases. It will be the last story about my pilots Sebastian and Ryder. The other manuscript is the long await sequel to Fire Season, Fire Storm. I’m so looking forward to writing Holden and Garret again.

As for really giving my work away for free…tomorrow you can get a copy of Breathe Me In for free from All Romance eBooks as part of their Earth Day celebration. I did this once before and it was great. For those of you who like the Tales series and/or like M/M books, you’ll definitely want to download this one!

Now, it’s time for a Marcus and then off to work with me.

Oh, what a yummeh Marcus! *sigh*

Have a great Monday!