ravenous romance

My Releases on Allromanceebooks.com; FREE Excerpt Sheriff and Outlaw

My Releases on Allromanceebooks.com

As I’ve posted previously, getting back listed books up on web sites where digital books are sold is not as simple as it sounds…especially if the back list is long. We finally put up most of the former loveyoudivine.com titles on ARe, and here’s a list of those that went live today.

Babycakes

Another Regular Bud (Sequel to “A Regular Bud”)

A Young Widow’s Promise (This was originally published under “R. Field” because it’s not gay fiction and the publisher thought it was important to do. I decided to keep it with my won name this time. It is a historical with hetero main characters, but there is a gay subplot.)

A Regular Bud

A Life Filled with Awesome Love (This is a long 12,000 word short story, or a short novella.)

FREE Excerpt Sheriff and Outlaw

Here’s the raw (unedited) version excerpt of a new full length novel I just submitted to the publisher today, The Sheriff and the Outlaw.

Blurb:

When Sebastian loses his wonderful husband of ten years in an accident, he’s not only emotionally devastated, but also financially ruined. He can’t turn to family because they turned their backs on him when he told them he was gay, and Sebastian’s late husband owed so much he’s about to lose everything, including the mobile home he spent so many years making perfect. But just when Sebastian thinks there’s no hope at all, he inherits the meager estate of a distant uncle he’s never even met.

The fictional town of picturesque Glendora Hill, Texas appears to be perfect, which is exactly what Sebastian and his teenage son need after all the heartache they’ve gone through. But it’s not going to be easy. And as they begin to make new lives in this odd but friendly little town so far from their lives in Houston, Sebastian stops playing by the rules for a while. That is until the town’s cowboy sheriff, Avery Baldwin, confronts Sebastian about a few rules he’s overlooked.

As Sebastian rebuilds his life and the dilapidated property he inherited, with perfectly pruned shrubbery, a bright white porch swing, and two very strapping young studs he takes in as tenants, he also discovers a few secrets about his past through the one man who seems to understand him. And as the secrets of Sebastian’s childhood unfold and emotions he thought were dead forever begin to reawaken, he’s terrified of the only man who can actually help him move forward.
 
Excerpt:
           By that time Sebastian knew the sheriff wasn’t a mean man. He smiled and signed the check. As he handed it to Avery across the desk he said, “I can see I’m not going to win with you. Is that all?”
            “Just one more thing,” Avery said. “You’ll have to write a check for a sign fee.”
            “A sign fee?”
            Avery laughed. “There’s a two hundred dollar fee for hanging a business sign out front. All the businesses in town are required to pay it. But that’s only a one-time fee.”
            Sebastian made a face and ripped another check from his black leather folder. He made the check out to the Borough of Glendora Hill, signed it, and handed it over to Avery.
            “I almost forgot,” Avery said. “This one is the most important. There’s the sheriff’s fee, too.”
            “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Sebastian said. So far all these ridiculous fees were starting to sound like one huge scam to him.
            “Seriously,” Avery said. “In order to date the sheriff you have to pay another fifty dollars.”
            It took a moment for Sebastian to realize he was joking. At first he didn’t process it. But when it sank in he smiled at Sheriff Avery Baldwin and said, “What if I pass on that one, and I don’t date the sheriff?”

            “Then the sheriff would have to put you over his knee and spank you,” Avery said, as he cracked his right palm with his left.
            Although Sebastian hadn’t intended to get this personal with the sheriff, he’d never been against a harmless little spanking or flirting. He sent Avery a sideways glance and laughed. “I’ll take the spanking. I have no more money.”
            Avery’s eyebrows went up and he laughed. “I had a feeling you would.”
            Then Sebastian stood up and reached over to shake the sheriff’s hand. He didn’t want to get this personal with anyone. “I really have to get back now. One of my tenants is doing me a favor and planting boxwoods today and I don’t want him doing the work all alone. But it was very interesting meeting you. I hope you come to the grand opening in a few weeks.” He wasn’t flirting. If anything he was trying to be nice without getting any closer to Avery because he felt a connection to him that was hard to explain. Avery was the kind of guy he could get serious with, but he didn’t want to get serious with anyone at that point in his life.
            Avery stood up and took his hand. He held it tightly and said, “What about our date. And the spanking. Don’t forget about that.”
            For such a discreet, conservative man, he had aggressive tendencies Sebastian admired. “I would love to go out with you as soon as the grand opening is over. I have so much work to do right now I’m not even sure what day of the week it is half the time. And, I do have a teenage son and I’d have to explain that to him. He comes first. So for right now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to put dating anyone on hold for a while.”
            Avery released his hand and said, “That’s good enough for me. Actually, I admire that. Good luck with everything, and if you need any help let me know. I’m always willing to lend a helping hand.” He smiled and cracked one palm against the other again.
            As Sebastian turned to leave, he sent Avery a backward glance and said, “I’m sure you are, sheriff. And thanks for everything. I mean that. I was so worried.”
            On his way out he noticed Angie had returned from lunch and he nodded and smiled in her direction. She was pretending to file a few papers but Sebastian had a feeling she’d been trying to listen to his conversation with the sheriff.
            As he headed toward the half door that would lead him into the hallway, Angie said, “I’m looking forward to the grand opening. I’ll be there bright and early with mom and pop.”
            “Thanks,” Sebastian said. “We’ll be open from nine in the morning until six at night, and every day thereafter except for Wednesdays.”
            On the way out of the building, he felt a sinking feeling in his stomach all at once. Then his face grew warm and his heart began to race. When it dawned on him this would be the first time in his life he had ever held a full time job it overwhelmed him. It wasn’t that he hadn’t worked hard his entire life taking care of Dan, Kick, and doing the part time retail jobs. And he’d always been a reliable, responsible employee wherever he’d worked. He showed up fifteen minutes early and left fifteen minutes late. He’d even had former employers beg him to work full time because of his work ethic, but Dan had always preferred him working part time and taking care of the house and family things full time. Sebastian had preferred it that way, too. He’d never had the urge to have a career or work full time outside the home in any capacity. And now here he was, pushing thirty, no husband, and this never ending business he’d started looming over his head day and night.
            As he headed back to the parking lot to his car, he was so engrossed in his own thoughts he almost didn’t hear the shout from across the street. The woman who owned the dress shop, the one who had been seeing Judd, was speaking to him and he stopped short and turned to look at her.
            “I’m sorry,” Sebastian said. “I didn’t hear you.”
            “I was just saying that I can’t wait for the grand opening on Labor Day,” she said. She was leaning back against the rail of her front porch, next to a huge urn of red potted geraniums that were so perfect they didn’t look real. He knew they were real. No one in Glendora Hill would have dared plant anything fake.
            “Thanks,” he said. He figured Judd must have told her who he was. “We’re working hard to make it a lot of fun for the whole town.” He was so used to speaking in terms of being part of a couple after all those years of being married, he didn’t realize he’d made this mistake.
            “I’ve heard all about it from Judd,” she said. When she mentioned Judd’s name her expression grew somber, as if she were angry now. “He says you boys are working all the time over there. Judd tells me everything, and I mean everything.”
            If there was one thing most in the world Sebastian hated it was being referred to as a boy. He was a grown man, with a son of his own, not a little boy. Though he felt like correcting her, he didn’t want to get on her bad side, so he forced a smile and said, “Judd’s been a big help. I’m Sebastian, by the way.” He also had no idea about whether or not Judd had mentioned he was bi-sexual and that they were having sex once in a while.
            She sent him a smug grin, turned back toward her dress shop, and said, “Don’t I know it. I’m Luanne.”
            After that comment, she went into the shop without looking back. He had a feeling Judd had said something. So when he returned to the house and found Judd packing dirt around the last boxwood, he parked up front and walked over to him. He glanced at the round boxwoods and said, “They look great. But I told you to wait. I wanted to help.”
            Judd’s entire body was drenched in perspiration by then. It literally dripped down his bulging chest muscles and made wet spots on his jeans. He wiped his brow with the back of his hand and said, “I don’t mind, and you can do all the mulching. I have to go into town. I promised a friend I’d have a late lunch with her.”
            Sebastian knew he was talking about the woman who owned the dress shop. “This friend is the woman who owns the dress shop in town, isn’t she? Her name is Luanne.”
            “Yes,” Judd said, setting the shovel done next to the wheel barrow. “The blond woman in her thirties. She’s a great lady.”
            “I know,” Sebastian said. “I spoke to her a few minutes ago when I was leaving the sheriff’s office.”
            “How did that go?” Judd asked. “Did the permits cost a fortune?”
            He wanted to talk about the woman in the dress shop, not the permits. “It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It wasn’t cheap, but I won’t have to skip a meal yet.”
            “Well that’s good,” he said. He was so sweaty even the bulge in his jeans was damp.
            But Sebastian resisted the urge to flirt with him, in spite of how sexy he looked standing there with no shirt, with dirt all over his hands, dripping in sweat. “I’m curious about something. How much does the woman in the dress shop, Luanne, know about you?”
            It seemed as if Judd caught on to him all at once. He flung Sebastian and glance and said, “She knows I’m bi-sexual. But I never said a word about us. I don’t kiss and tell.”
            Judd seemed excited now, as if he were upset. “Simmer down,” Sebastian said. “I didn’t mean it that way. I know you wouldn’t say anything about us. I just wanted to know if she knew you were bi-sexual.”
            “I had to be honest with her,” Judd said. “It wouldn’t be right not to tell her the truth.”
            Sebastian smiled and reached for his bicep. He squeezed it gently and said, “And that’s what I like most about you, Judd. You’re always honest.”

            “You’re not mad at me for telling her, are you?”
            “Of course not,” Sebastian said. “That’s up to you, and it’s none of my business.” Then he looked to see if anyone was watching. When he knew it was safe, he patted Judd on the bottom and said, “Now go take a shower and get out of here. You’ve done enough hard work for one day. I’ll go up and change and do the mulch alone. I don’t mind. I actually like doing it.”

            A few minutes later, he waved as Judd backed his new pick-up truck out of the driveway. Though he knew Judd was going to visit Luanne, and most likely have sex with her, he felt no jealousy or discomfort. But he was worried about her. Women like her had a sixth sense about men like him, and he knew she suspected he was playing around with Judd even though Judd had never said anything. It wasn’t something Judd had to tell her. She could guess this on her own without having to be told. It didn’t bother Sebastian in a literal sense. He just wanted her to know for certain that what he did with Judd was not leading anywhere, and that he had no intentions of ever getting serious with Judd. The only reason this was important to Sebastian was because he’d seen the look on her face when she’d mentioned Judd, and she clearly had future plans for good old Judd that didn’t include Sebastian.

Small Town Romance Writer: The 113,000 Word Version

Small Town Romance Writer: The 113,000 Word Version

This is one of those posts I do every now and then when I’m getting ready to submit a book to the publisher. It helps me see what the book description looks like in print, it helps me check out the first few pages, and readers tell me they like reading these things.

This particular book is the final novel in the eight book series I’ve been working on for the last year for Ravenous Romance. And this time, with this final book, for some reason I ran way over the contracted word count and it wound up being 113,000 words. Before I started editing it, it was almost 150,000 words. It could have stood alone at 150,000 words, but I think it works better when it’s a little tighter. I think part of the reason the book ran this long is because it covers a time period of over twenty years, from l990 – 2012. I don’t usually do that, because I prefer to cover shorter time periods. However, this time the story seemed to take over and I didn’t have much of a choice.

Here’s the book description, in raw form. Below that is an excerpt from a part of the book where Ethan wants Travis to read his new novel…also unedited, in raw form, and set in the year 2000.

In this 113,000 word gay romance, when bad boy male stripper Ethan and quiet academic Travis first meet at the storied Iowa Writers’ Workshop in l990 neither one of them know this unusual relationship will consume the next twenty years of their lives…even as their lives change and they meet new people, and they each take different paths as career writers.

Ten years later, Travis is a well-respected author in the LGBT community who is up for a prestigious literary award and Ethan is still a struggling gay erotic romance author writing short stories for small presses that garner him a less than fifty dollar flat fees. But all this is about to change when Ethan soon becomes famous for a gay romance that Travis thinks is quite possibly the worst book ever written.

As Ethan’s mainstream writing career progresses and he becomes known as the Small Town Billionaire Author, Travis’s career moves forward in more subtle, literary ways. Although there are times when Travis is jealous of Ethan’s fame and fortune, he’s found the young man he thinks is the love of his life and nothing else matters. In fact, his life seems perfect…until tragedy strikes and leaves him with nowhere to turn but to Ethan.

Ten years after that, in 2011, both Ethan and Travis have evolved in many ways as men and authors. They also find themselves in situations they hadn’t predicted, and the tables have turned on them. Their long-lasting, unusual relationship is challenged once again when Ethan is up for the same award Travis won twenty years earlier, and this time it’s either going to make them or break them.    

Excerpt:
Ethan stood up and walked to a briefcase he’d left near the back door. He picked it up, carried it to the island, and set it down next to a large porcelain rooster that had the most ridiculous expression he’d ever seen. He hated cute things; he despised the way this entire house was decorated. As Ethan unzipped the case, Travis walked over to see what he was doing.
            Ethan pulled a thick stack of white papers out of the briefcase and set it on the counter. The stack wasn’t neatly piled and most of the pages were dog-eared. He pushed it toward Travis and said, “I’d like you to read this and tell me what you think.”
            Travis gulped and glanced down at the papers. “What is it?”

            “It’s a novel I wrote,” Ethan said. Although his short stories had been getting published in anthologies and magazine for years, he’d never actually written a full length novel. This was his first attempt and what Travis thought of it meant more to him than anything. “I’d like you to read it and tell me what you think.” He’d never asked Travis to read anything like this before. He’d never asked anyone to read his work before. The first people who read his short manuscripts were usually professional editors. He didn’t believe in feedback from non-professionals.
            Travis glanced at the title and read it aloud: “To Badly Feel the Darkness of Emotion.”
            “It is catchy,” Travis said. “You never mentioned you were writing a full length novel. How long did it take?”
            “About a month,” Ethan said. “It’s about 150,000 words. I would have finished it sooner, but we had a lot of events with Lance’s job. For a while it seemed as if there was a different party every night. Entertaining clients is a huge part of what Lance does. I’m so excited about this. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.”
            Travis continued to stare at the first page. “I see,” he said.
            “Is that all you’re going to say?” He’d expected at least a little excitement from Travis.
            “I’m not sure whatto say right now,” Travis said. “You hand me a manuscript for a full length 150,000 novel you wrote in a month and the title isn’t even grammatically correct.” He lifted his hands and wiggled his fingers. “You don’t feel badly. You feel bad on an emotional level, not badly. You feel badly with your fingers.”
            “I know that,” Ethan said. “I believe in common usage, and everyone says they feel badly. I write the way real people speak, and it’s the story that matters, not the grammar.” He’d always been a believer in common usage as opposed to proper grammar, and from what he’d been reading there were many who were beginning to speak out about this, even on academic levels. He’d recently read an article in a university review that talked about ending sentences with prepositions. “I want you to read it and tell me what you think about the story. It’s an erotic romance with light BDSM where two guys fall in love. It’s really an emotional love story this time, filled with schmaltz. I got tired of writing about just sex.”
            “I see,” Travis said, as if they were the only two words he knew. He turned the title page over and read aloud from the first page: “Like a chiseled and detailed statue, his elegantly muscle toned body crept up the elderly semi-circular staircase lovingly. It’s treads squeaked laboriously with each step he took, as he made his way slowly and carefully to Adam’s bed. His feet stopped abruptly at the top of the stairs when he saw Adam longingly and lovingly glancing in his direction. He smiled widely and muttered darkly with slight stutter, ‘I’m here. I’m here, my love.’”
            When Travis paused, Ethan leaned forward. “What do you think? Isn’t that a great first line?”

            “Well,” Travis said. “I’m not sure what to say.”
            “You don’t like it,” Ethan said. He knew that look on Travis’s face. He hadn’t seen it since the last time Travis drank too much and heaved his dinner.
            “This is an awkward position, Ethan,” Travis said. “I’m not sure what you want me to say. You show me a novel you claim only took one month to write. One fucking month. It took me years to write my novel. Then I read the first line and I see you begin the book with a simile, you misspell its, you use said bookisms for dialogue tags, and there seems to have been a sale on adverbs the day you wrote it.” Travis pointed to the next line and read it aloud: “’You’re here,’” Adam mumbled alluringly.” He closed his eyes for a moment and sighed.
            “I wanted the first few pages to be filled with emotion,” Ethan said. He wasn’t sure about the other issues Travis had mentioned, but he didn’t want Travis to know that. Travis could be so structured and picky sometimes, not to mention condescending.
            “Mumbled alluringly?” Travis said. He sent him a frown and shook his head. “That’s not good, Ethan. You need to work on it a little more. And maybe hire a good editor.”
            Ethan sat back and sighed. Why did Travis always have to be so condescending? “All I wanted you to do was read it and tell me what you think. But if that’s too much trouble, don’t bother. I’m never going to write literary books like you. I know and I’m okay with that. But I know I can write sexy books with a lot of romance and a killer story.”
            Travis rubbed his jaw and took a quick breath. “I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll take the book with me and read it from cover to cover. I’ll overlook all the grammatical issues and I’ll let you know what I think of the story; just the story. I’ll be completely objective in that respect. But you have to promise you’ll take my criticism as objectively. In other words, you can’t get mad at me.”
            “It’s a deal,” Ethan said. “All I want you to do is read it and tell me what you think.”
            Travis glanced down at the page and saw the byline. “Who the hell is G. X. Cloud?”
            Ethan sat up higher and squared his back. “That’s my pen name for this. Everyone’s using them nowadays, especially in e-publishing. And since this is a first novel, I wanted something different than I’ve used before.”
            E-publishing?” Travis asked, with a sarcastic emphasis on the e.
            Ethan nodded. “Electronic publishing,” he said. “It’s where people read electronic books instead of print books. I’ve been reading a lot about it lately on the Internet. I’ve seen articles that claim everyone will be reading e-books on an e-reading device of some kind by the year 2010. And a lot of writers are using pen names with two initials.”
            Travis rolled his eyes. “Well this is the year 2000, and I haven’t seen any signs of thathappening in publishing, so don’t hold your breath, G.X.”
            When it came to technology, Travis had never been open to the concept of change. Ethan had been spending a lot of time on the Internet and he’d seen the changes already happening in the publishing industry. Of course most of the people associated with traditional publishing like Travis either laughed at, or scorned, anything that resembled the concept of electronic books. But Ethan didn’t agree, and he had a feeling the world would change in the next decade and he wanted to be part of that change.
            “You can take this hard copy manuscript,” Ethan said. “I have an electronic back up on file. I back up all my work now with digital copies.” He was by no means a tech genius, but he wanted to use technical words to impress Travis. He knew Travis wrote his literary books on the same old typewriter he’d used at The Iowa Writer’s Workshop, and he found this amusing and quaint. Travis didn’t even have an e-mail address yet, and most people Ethan knew did. About a year earlier, Ethan had been warned by one of the publishers with whom he worked if he didn’t get a computer and learn how to submit his short erotic stories as Word Documents, he would soon become obsolete and no one would be willing to read his hard copy manuscripts. At first Ethan ignored the advice, but then it actually happened. One of his small publishers wanted to buy a short erotic gay story for an anthology, but he told Ethan it had to be submitted electronically. On that same day, Ethan bought a computer and asked Lance to show him the basics. Lance had already been using computers for architectural design and he knew the basics.
            Travis made a face. “I’ll stick with my old typewriter for now, thank you. But as long as you have a copy, I’ll take the manuscript with me and I’ll read it.”
            Ethan jumped off his stool and hugged him. “Thanks,” he said. “I know I’m never going to be as good as you, but not everyone can write literary novels that win big book awards. Some of us just want to entertain people and have a little fun.” Although he wanted that to sound like a compliment, he also wanted to let Travis know he wasn’t a complete idiot just because he didn’t get his graduate degree in Iowa. The competition between them often equaled the love between them, which made moments like this more intense. They always seemed to be on the verge of a kiss or a slap in the face.
            And Travis always made sure he went insult for insult. He tapped Ethan’s messy manuscript and said, “And I’m sure I’ll have more than a little fun reading this.”
 
  

New Release: The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal



New Release: The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

Here’s the cover for my new release with Ravenous Romance in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, Silicon Valley Sex Scandal. I like what they did this time. I see several key elements from the book in the cover, including the ultra modern home the main character owns in Cupertino, CA.

I get into a few interesting things in this book, like cyber-dating, online fakery, catfishing, and stalking. I took the liberty of using poetic license at times in a positive sense, because this is how I wish the Internet would be. But I think in time it will be more secure…after enough important people suffer the things others have been suffering online. In other words, when it happens to someone like Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg, we’ll see changes come fast. And that’s exactly what I wanted to point out in this book with the main character…as a sideline to the romantic plot.

Here’s the blurb…free excerpts to come when it’s released:

Shannon Winn is known as the world’s most capricious gay billionaire and the owner of the world’s safest, coolest social media web site, lovemetender.com. When Shannon meets a guy named Terry on his own web site, he considers it fun and games, not looking for a relationship.

And that’s because Shannon already has an open relationship with his personal assistant, Justin. Although they aren’t committed to each other, Shannon’s not looking to meet anyone else for love. This bad boy just wants to fool around with Terry and forget all about him the next day.

It’s unfortunate for Shannon that Terry doesn’t realize this, because after their first and only time together Terry not only falls in love with Shannon, he begins to stalk him and imagine them as a couple. In the course of one week, Terry follows Shannon’s every move, showing up unexpectedly and seducing Shannon with great success.

When bad boy Shannon finally realizes the fatal mistakes he’s made with Terry, and he knows for certain he’s really in love with Justin, it just might be too late for them. Will Terry’s crazed infatuation with Shannon ruin Shannon’s chances of true love with Justin? And will delusional Terry finally snap and kill them all?

Why I’m Wild About Ravenous Romance…

The title of this post, Why I’m Wild About Ravenous Romance, isn’t an accident. The odds are I would never write anything that dramatic (or painfully self-indulgent) in a blog post title unless I had a good reason. In this case it’s about search engines. About four years ago a nasty low end blogger wrote a negative post with a similar title and I’d like something to show up that balances that post out. From my own POV, as someone who has been working with Ravenous for almost four years now. I knew it would take time, but I’ve never been in a hurry.

The main reason why I waited so long to write this post had more to do with gathering information from my personal experiences than anything else. To write a blog post about a new publisher, before that new publisher has even had a chance to do anything is just dumb. I’ve worked with a lot of publishers in the past twenty years. I’ve worked as an editor for magazines, small tabloids, and print media. I worked in advertising for a wig company in Japan that paid very well. I’ve worked with all the LGBT presses there are. I’m not mentioning these things to brag or boast. I’m mentioning them to show that I have the experience on which to base my opinions on publishers, and to form a subjective opinion.

If you spend too much time reading the nasty bloggers you’d think publishing was this cutthroat business where everyone’s worried about sales and promotion. But I’ve always found that publishing, in a general sense, is a decent, friendly industry with nice people who tend to be more open-minded about things. I don’t think I’ve been lucky when I say I’ve only worked with one gay publisher in the past who was an asshat, while the rest of my publishers have been spectacular…all of them. I think most people who have worked in publishing for a while would agree with me that it’s a nice business to be in. Even as far as competition goes, most people in publishing would agree that there’s room for everyone…and room to support those who are starting out.

One of the publishers with whom I’ve worked closely has been Ravenous Romance, a digital only e-publisher that launched its web site four years ago. Though I’ve never met anyone from Ravenous in person, I’ve gotten to know them all from the owners to the cover artists to the copy editors. And every single time the work experience has been positive. I’ve been paid on time, I’ve never had to worry about quarterly statements, and the check, as they say, has always been in the mail from day one. They also pay advances in some cases, which is not common for most e-publishers nowadays. For me, those advances are more than money. They mean the publisher trusts the author and knows the author will deliver and follow the contract. And it’s that kind of trust that means all the difference in the world to authors.

As an unagented author with more than 100 listed published works on goodreads alone, it hasn’t always been easy dealing with the business end of publishing. I don’t like dealing with it, but I’ve had to learn that I represent myself and I’m responsible for my own best interests, not the publisher’s best interests. And I’ve never had any issues with any publisher except that one gay press that shall not be named here. With Ravenous the hardest thing for me to do has been not to get too friendly, and to keep that distance between author an publisher, to keep things businesslike. They are such decent people it’s been hard to do. And, I tend to keep things simple and I don’t ever make unrealistic demands on any of my publishers either. In other words, I’m not a pain in the ass. I don’t e-mail them ten times a day. I don’t need them to coddle me. I do my job, I follow the contract, and I keep it professional at all times. I often wonder what they think of ME, because I tend to be so hard to reach on an emotional level.

As I said, I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time for many reasons, not just because of that nasty low end blogger. And I’ve saved the most important for last. When I started to get interested in e-publishing everyone was laughing at it…even my best friend who is a literary agent for over thirty years. He told me e-books would never “take off.” I’m glad I didn’t listen. When I started working with Ravenous I will admit I had my reservations because they were so new and e-publishing was so knew. I come from an old school that’s not really that old but it is specific. Books took months…or years…to be published, lgbt authors were paid flat fees (no more than fifty bucks) and with copies, and when print books were released I almost never knew when they were out. Once I stumbled on one in a bookshop and didn’t even know it had been released.

That all changed for me with Ravenous Romance, especially the lgbt part of it. They’ve given me the chance to write gay fiction I never thought I’d be able to write in my lifetime. I’d always wanted to do it but there weren’t any publishers (or agents) that would take a chance on the kind of lgbt fiction I was writing. I’ve never been told I couldn’t do something. And for me that’s the biggest reason why I’ve enjoyed working with Ravenous, and hope to continue working with them in the future.

But more important, all this is based on my own personal experience, not hearsay from someone who knew someone who had a friend who knew someone who worked with a publisher. And if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

Chase of an Adventure Fifty Shades of Gay



Chase of an Adventure Fifty Shades of Gay was released this week with Ravenous Romance. I’ve posted about it here already and I’ve explained how it’s nothing like the book Fifty Shades of Grey. Other than the subtitle, this is the third book in the “Chase” series that follows the lives of Jim Darling and Len Mayfield, and below are the first two books in the order in which each one was released.

I’ve found that having a post like this up helps people figure out the order in which the books were published. Though I’ve never written  a cliff hanger in my life, and each book in any series I’ve done is a stand alone, I do think it’s helpful to know in what order the books in any series were released. Characters arc, relationships grow and change. At least that’s what I try to do…keep them moving forward. In this case with Chase of and Adventure, Len Mayfield changes so much Jim Darling isn’t sure what to expect next from him. Hence the subtitle, Fifty Shades of Gay.

I’ll keep updating books in the series as they are published. I don’t know when the next “Chase” book will be released, but there will be one eventually. If anyone has any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Below are links to Allromanceebooks.com, but the book has been released on Amazon and most other web sites where e-books are sold.

Chase of a Lifetime

Chase of a Dream (Abridged)

Chase of a Dream (Unabridged)

Chase of an Adventure Fifty Shades of Gay

Here’s the blurb:

In this third novel from the Chase of a Lifetime series, Jim Darling and Len Mayfield are picking up the pieces in the wake of Cain Mayfield’s tragic death. While Jim is busy working on a new marketing plan for Carol Greene’s medical marijuana dispensaries, Len is trying to figure out ways to get Jim to experiment with BDSM.

Though Jim Darling misses his best friend Cain so much it hurts, he’s willing to do anything to please his husband…a husband who suddenly seems like a different person Jim can’t figure out.
After a terrible scare that involves bees and their toddler son, Culum, they get a phone call from Len Mayfield’s estranged mother in Connecticut that changes their lives forever. For the first time since Jim had known Len, he finally meets the family Len has refused to talk about and Jim is in for more than a few surprises.

With all the original characters from previous books, Jim and Len wind up rediscovering their relationship. Jim also discovers there are more than a few shades of gay and he has to figure out how to deal with them on his own terms. Will the next tragedy they face bring them closer or pull them apart? And will Jim ever come to terms with the things his husband expects him to do?

On Moving Forward with Ravenous Romance…

Earlier this week I posted about Lori Perkins leaving Ravenous Romance. Although this was sad news to hear, for me this is something I’ve seen many times in publishing.

In the past twenty years I’ve seen editors switch jobs from one house to another, I’ve seen editors become literary agents, I’ve seen literary agents start their own agencies and then join other agencies. I’ve also seen the reverse, where agents leave literary agencies to start their own. Publishing can be a transient business and it’s not uncommon to see a publishing professional make an announcement about a new position or venture after working three or four years in another position.

I remember losing one of my favorite editors a while back at Alyson Books and I was devastated for a while. I loved the way he edited, I loved the anthologies he created, and I loved working with him. Since then, our paths have crossed and we’ve collaborated on other projects in e-publishing.

I’m going into detail like this because I don’t want people to think that Ravenous Romance itself is changing in any way. I’ve contacted Holly and it’s business as usual. Although I don’t have any titles out with them at the present time with my own name, I do have a book coming out with a pen name. I’ve had other books published with ravenous with pen names I would never reveal because that would contradict the entire concept of having a pen name. I do it because it’s more about switching genres than hiding a deep dark secret.

So whenever you see that an editor or other publishing professional is making a life change, that doesn’t mean anything other than that. They are making a life change they think is the best professional decision for them and it has nothing to do with the publisher. As I said, publishing is a small industry and we run into each other all the time when we least expect it. It’s also part of the fun. I’m working with an editor at Cleis right now that I worked with at Alyson almost a decade ago. And I’m not in the least surprised at this point.

I wouldn’t be surprised if I ran into Lori Perkins one day in the future and wound up working with her again. That’s the way it goes.

Changes At Ravenous Romance…

I literally just found out that Lori Perkins, editorial director at Ravenous Romance, resigned last Friday. You can read more in an announcement she made on her blog, here.

It was a very busy Monday. I’ve had deadlines with one publisher and I’ve been multi-tasking with issues at Amazon. I didn’t have time to read my e-mails until about an hour ago, which is something I rarely put off all day.

I have had a lot of titles published with Ravenous in the past four years and I’ve enjoyed working with Lori. She’s not only a professional in every sense of the word, she’s also a very nice, decent human being. I met Lori through blogging. I started to follow her blog about six years ago and I enjoyed her posts about publishing. To say I was stunned to hear this news would be an understatement. And I’ll miss her. Lori challenged me in ways no one else ever did.

And I’d like to wish Lori the very best. I’ll miss working with her. If you go back to some of my posts from four years ago you’ll see where I described how hard everyone involved with RR worked in the very beginning: authors, editors, copyeditors, and all staff at RR. It was a very intense…and challenging…time for me. I don’t think I ever posted about this before. I had slowed down a year before that to having only about four or five things published that year because Tony had been hospitalized, near death, in a coma for three months, in the summer of 2007. There is a doctor in Doylestown Hospital that calls Tony his, “Miracle.” Tony came home from the hospital weighing 99 pounds. He was still recuperating when I was approached about writing for Ravenous Romance. The timing was perfect; I was ready to jump back in full time after so many intense months of dealing with doctors and hospitals. I plunged into the work and didn’t stop for a break for almost a year.

I also received an e-mail from Ravenous Romance today letting me know that they are moving forward with a few exciting plans for the future. Part of being in publishing is the ability to constantly change and move forward. As an author I’ve had to do this many times and I will continue to do it. I don’t know any details about what Ravenous has planned for the future, but I’m very excited to hear what they will be. I have a soft spot in my heart for Ravenous Romance and I always will for many reasons. I’m very fond of Holly Schmidt and Allan Penn, who are still in charge at Ravenous. And they know they have my full support.