Half Full

Normally, I’m not so much a glass half full person. Especially, when something bad has happened recently. Last week, the publishing world lost a true talent. And I (along with a lot of other people) lost a dear friend. William Neale, a fellow MLR Press author, died last week of a heart attack. I won’t dress it up in pretty words – it was a huge, painful shock. I’d spoken to him only days before. We’d planned for me to do the cover and book trailer for his next release. We hadn’t gone into details other than Bill telling me again that I don’t charge enough for the work I do. Now, I wish we had gone into some details so I’d know where to start when that book does come out, posthumously.

At any rate, last week wasn’t such a good week. And then I got edits for Runaways. Well, most authors like to say that they are in “edit hell” when they are working on edits. I’m not one of them. I look at edits as a glass half full, in direct opposition to how I usually see things. Edits are an opportunity to make my work better. I have three really amazing editors who take very good care of me and help me polish my work to the perfection that you see (at least grammatically) when you buy one of my books. Kris Jacen at MLR Press, Jillian Bell at Ellora’s Cave and Mary Wilson at Pink Petal Books are my heroes. And when they send me edits I can barely contain myself.

When I see edits in my email, it’s like Christmas morning for me. I can barely wait to open them. I usually force myself to finish whatever it is I’m doing before opening the edits but I squirm in my seat the whole time I’m finishing those tasks. I always finish my edits early, mostly because I can’t stop working on them once I have them. I LOVE edits! I love seeing how the finished product will come out. And I love hearing what my editors have to say about my work.

So despite the fact that I couldn’t focus on my edits for a couple of days after Bill died, I did get my second round edits for Runaways back to Jilly this weekend. The lure of the edits called to me even in my grief. And I imagine Bill was chuckling at me the whole time. Glass half full indeed.

Now, how about a Marcus to bring some cheer to this cold spring morning?

Oh, so handsome there in formal wear. Certainly cheers my morning right up! Have a great Monday everyone!

News of the Day

Today’s post is a just a hodge podge of information. I have some stuff to share and no other ideas about what to write because, as usual, Daylight Savings Time just fucks me up.

First of all, I have a new cover! Ellora’s Cave’s artist Syneca did this great cover for Runaways. Originally, Runaways was a short story at Freya’s Bower. There was more to the story but I just wrote one piece of it and submitted it. Now, I’ve got my rights back so I expanded the story as it was meant to be. A nice little M/M/F menage. Very hot stuff. It should be out later this month.

Next stop is my story for the M/M Goodreads group. It’s almost finished but it’s not exactly in my normal voice. It’s a little different and much heavier on the sexual tension than the actual sex. So not my usual way of writing a short story or novella. At any rate, I got myself some beta readers because it’s been awhile since I wrote from a prompt and this isn’t coming out in my normal voice so I need to ensure it all sounds good. I should be done way in advance of the deadline thank God.

And speaking of deadlines, I intend to have Runaways’ sequel, Mating, expanded and to my editor at EC by the end of March. This one stays M/F but it’s getting more to the story and a hefty dose of added sex as well. No cover art as yet. At least, if it goes novella length, it will get a new cover otherwise it gets a Quickie cover which I already have.

I’ve got Kissing Joan Collins and Magic Lessons out right now as well as stand alone versions of Afterburner and Rousing Caine. With Runaways and Mating on the horizon, I’ll be doing some cover ads to help promo the books. I’ve got space on an ad for RWR magazine coming out in April. The Rainbow Romance Writers have a full page ad and I’m one of 9 books in the ad. Kissing Joan Collins is on the same row as A.C. Katt’s Shattered Glass which is a cover I did. So I feel like I get double exposure!

Speaking of covers again, I signed a contract to do covers for MuseItUp Publishing and I’ve got some feelers out with other publishers as well. Hopefully, you’ll all be seeing more of my work in the coming months in new places.

I am signed up to go to the GayRomLit reader’s retreat in Albuquerque, NM in October as an author. It should be a fun time and I’m really looking forward to the break from work and home. I’ll be taking some swag and signing books and I’m definitely going to have some kind of Lords of Aether swag to give out. We want to get ourselves more readers from that retreat.

I’m signed up to judge the Rainbow Awards and will be reading a few books for that over the next few months. I’m also going to do first round judging for OCC’s Orange Rose contest as well. Not sure if I’ll be entering any contests myself this year. I keep thinking about it, but thus far haven’t done it. Maybe the contest the Passionate Plume chapter puts on. I finished really well there last year.

Motley’s coming home to stay soon. Her roomie is graduating so baby’s coming home to mama. 😉 The babies will love it. They miss her horribly especially Rambo. And a welcome home to my friend Hilly who’s back in California after an extended stay in Idaho.

Uhhh. There’s probably more news I could think up, but I’m drawing a blank for the moment so maybe it’s time to stop. Heh. At least, that means it’s now time for a Marcus!

Oh, that is so nice for a Monday morning. A definite pick me up! Now, off you all go and have a great Monday!

 

 

Getting Clocked

So Rott and I watched a Justin Timberlake movie where the currency of the times was time not money. There were all sorts of clock related cracks and jokes in the movie which made us laugh and it wasn’t a funny movie. It was ironic though. And it was easy to see the point the movie makers were trying to make about money, the haves and have nots.

Honestly, life is all about time, isn’t it? And time does equal money on many fronts. For a movie filled with action, it really had a lot of philosophical lessons in it. Still, I liked the time and clock jokes. I feel like I”m getting clocked all the time. LOL

So apparently, I’m going to the GayRomLit writer/reader retreat in Albuquerque, NM in October. It’s at the Hard Rock. I think I’m going to be drinking a lot of raspberry martinis. 😉 So many people going whom I want to meet and watching them all get drunk should be a blast! I know I had a ton of fun at the Romantic Times convention last year so I’m sure GRL will be even more fun.

I woke up late this morning so I’m going to cut this short and give you a Marcus now because I’m running late.

That’s one of my fave photos of him. Maybe it’s the background. I dunno. Just know I like it a lot!

Rousing Caine came out solo at MLR Press last week so if you’re into gay ghost stories and haven’t read this one you can drop by MLR or All Romance eBooks and pick it up. Got edits for Runaways yesterday so I think you’ll be seeing it released soon. I can’t wait for people to read the full story. It was so satisfying to write!

Okay, I’m outta here. Time’s ticking away *snicker*. Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Battles

Everywhere I turn there are battles raging. On the net, it’s the Paypal thing and books with questionable content (ie the ones with titles like “Daddy’s Little ****.”  There’s always some kind of battle raging over at Dear Author and this week’s seems to be about plagiarism. And on the home front, Rott’s doing an outpatient rehab thing. So everywhere I look, people are cranky. It’s messing with my need for a little karmic peace.

I understand the Paypal thing. It’s not about censorship. It’s about what credit card companies have for rules. They don’t want their product used to support illegal activities. Some erotica books are about things that ride the line in terms of legal and illegal. Rape, incest and sex with underage individuals is illegal and therefore books that glorify those topics are among the things the card companies don’t want to be attached to. So Paypal, which is a gateway or processing medium for those cards, has to crack down on businesses that sell those books. Now, as I understand it, the crackdown is bordering on a witch hunt and some books that don’t contain that content are being targeted. *sigh* Nothing in this world is perfect. I expect that there will be some books that slip the noose just like there will be some that are unfairly targeted. To me energy should be focused on how to let Paypal know that they need to fix the wrongly targeted items, not spent bitching about it. But that’s just me.

Now, on the plagiarism thing…that woman who copied all those books knew what she was doing. She was a treasurer on the board of an RWA chapter! She knew the difference between right and wrong and made the conscious choice to do something illegal. She only apologized because she got caught and exposed across the publishing community. I don’t feel sorry for her. I don’t feel sorry for thieves. If she feels embarrassed by her actions, I don’t feel sorry for that! She brought it on herself and she should be embarrassed and a whole lot more. Personally, I don’t think she is embarrassed. I think she’s pissed that she got caught. And if I were one of the authors she plagiarized, I’d be getting together with the other authors and hiring an attorney to sue her. And I’d be contacting law enforcement over it as well. What she did was a crime. That makes her a criminal. It does not make her a sympathetic creature.

Here at home, life goes on. There are bumps in the road. Lots of them. I get tired of them, but I deal. What else am I gonna do? Pack up my fluffy babies and leave? Where would I go? And it sure as hell wouldn’t stop me from worrying about him. *double sigh* Sometimes I just wish my life could be sweet and uncomplicated.

Since it’s Monday, how about a sweet, uncomplicated photo of Marcus to ease our burdens and battles?

Now, that is something to sigh over!

Before I go, just wanted to mention that Encounters: Magic Lessons is out now. It’s a March release but it’s up early. You’ll find it over at Pink Petal Books.

Have a great Monday!

Cupcakes Are Subjective

A lot of things in this life are subjective. If you and your best friend read one of my books, one of you may very well not like it while the other loves it. I grew up with a mother who baked from scratch. I know how to bake a lot of stuff from scratch. I don’t do it because I don’t have the time usually, but once or twice a year I may make my chocolate overdose brownies, my mom’s pineapple chiffon cheesecake,  German chocolate cake, cherry cobbler or a batch of chocolate chip cookies. At Christmas I’ve been known to make rum balls. Mostly though, in these days when my time is at a premium, I head to a bakery.

There’s a few bakeries near where I live and I’ve taken to frequenting them as much as possible because at one they have the most wonderful cream puffs ever! They are the kind of cream puffs I had as a child, filled with real whipped cream, not that weird icing stuff that you find in the cream puffs at the grocery store. I actually went into this bakery for cupcakes because it was near where I was meeting my friend ZAM and I wanted to bring a treat for her.

Frost My Cake in Brea has really great brownies, cookies and cream puffs. They make really gorgeous cakes too. But their cupcakes…are a little too dense for me. I still get their chocolate peanut butter ones because I don’t mind so much that those are heavy. But mostly, I like my cupcakes light and airy the way my mother made them. And honestly, if you’ve ever seen Cupcake Wars, cupcakes aren’t supposed to be heavy. Contestants on that show always get knocked down for not having light airy cupcakes. So I don’t think Frost My Cake would win Cupcake Wars, but they are amazing with a cream puff!

So I had been getting my cupcakes from Sugar Rush Sweets in Yorba Linda but they closed to my great disappointment. They had this amazing coconut cream cupcake…airy white cake that melted in your mouth and a whipped cream icing slathered in coconut with a cherry on top. It was to die for! I could happily have eaten nothing but those cupcakes forever. Not sure what to do about cupcakes now that they are gone. I suppose I could custom order some coconut cream cupcakes from Frost My Cake or Beverley’s Best or that place in Orange that won a Cupcake Wars. I just don’t want to go to the trouble. And I’m not sure Frost My Cake could pull it off because like I said…their cupcakes aren’t light and airy.

ZAM said she heard of a cupcake place on Chapman in Fullerton that’s open 7 days a week. I’ll have to check it out even though that’s farther away than Beverley’s Best is from my house. I dream about the damn coconut cream cupcakes now that I can’t have one. And where I was once not bothered by the fact that Frost My Cake can’t do cupcakes to suit me because I had Sugar Rush Sweets to go to, now I’m in a serious snit that their cupcakes aren’t lighter. And I’m pouting. Big fat lower lip sticking out and all.

I know most people would think Frost My Cake’s cupcakes were great and they’re right. They have a great flavor and their icing is fine. It’s just that like most things cupcakes are subjective and even though I love Frost My Cake for other things they bake, I just don’t like the cake part of their cupcakes. I want my light and airy…I want fluffy and tender! Waaaaah! I so miss those coconut cream cupcakes!

*sigh* Time to pick up my big girl panties and stop being all pouty over cupcakes I can’t have.  In fact, it’s time for a Marcus to improve my Monday.

Now, I could eat that right up light and fluffy or not! LOL

I’m off to finish a manuscript for Pink Petal Books, part of the Encounters series.  Oh, and for those of you who like my fighter pilots, Afterburner has been released by MLR Press as a singleton. If you recall, it was part of the Honorable Silence anthology originally. I begged them to release it as a single ebook and they have. So now you can have my hot guys on your Kindle or Nook all by themselves! I’m still working on the book pages of the Lex Valentine website so bear with me as I painstakingly build this thing up to the way it should be with links to all booksellers etc.

Have a wonderful President’s Day Monday everyone!

 

 

PS: The photos are of Frost My Cake’s amazing cream puffs and their Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake.