Category: release date

Cherry Soda Cowboy; Clinical Definition for "Ass-Crack"

I’ve chosen a release date for Cherry Soda Cowboy, which will be April 19th. I will say that every single release date I’ve ever had has been exciting…even those I didn’t know about until the last minute. But the reason I don’t do hyped up promotions for release dates is because I’ve found that with genre romance/fiction like I write it’s more important to get the book out to readers and then let them decide when they want to buy it.

In other words, if JK Rowling is going to release a new Harry Potter book to millions of people on a set date, it’s important for her and her publishers to promote that as much as they can for readers. But I always felt…and I might be wrong about this…that if I do that kind of promotion for a release date with an erotic romance in a sub-genre I’m going to look like a pushy, annoying author trying to hock my readers into buying something they might not be ready to purchase for another month or so. I’m still getting letters from readers for books that were released five years ago. But, in the same respect, I also think it’s important to get the product information out to the reader so they know when a book is being released.

In that sense, I haven’t always had the opportunity to do that with the books I’ve had pubbed with e-presses. For some reason I don’t get, they usually tell me the day the book goes up that it’s been released. So, that becomes the release day, so to speak. It’s something over which I have no control. And in most cases I have not been able to do any pre-release promotions. Not all publishers work this way, but some do. So far I haven’t found a way to change this.

However, one of the best parts about self-publishing a book or story is that you can, indeed, pick a release date and stick to it. Sometimes there are tech issues, which causes a slight delay (it happens) and the release date isn’t always exact. But for the most part you can have a set release date whenever you want. It’s all about information.

In any event, Cherry Soda Cowboy will be released on April 19th. It’s a short story, it will be priced at .99, and it will be part of the Kindle Select Program for the first three months. This is something a little different than other things I’ve written because the story is set in the middle of this century, not in the present. I rarely do sci-fi or futuristic, however, I wanted to write an erotic romance that’s somewhat satirical about how politically correct we seem to be these days…often with things that shouldn’t matter too much. It’s not a political story, not by any means. The issue I get into is actually somewhat ridiculous. But it could happen.

It’s just something I thought might make people smile…or throw the book out the window.

Clinical Definition for “Ass-Crack” in Fangsters

I know that sounds like a ridiculous title for a blog post, or for anything. But something interesting came up in edits last week with a new copy editor who didn’t know me well and I figured I’d share the story. Take into consideration that I write highly erotic gay romance, I don’t hold back with descriptions, and there are times when I have to figure out ways to describe certain parts of the body while I’m writing a scene…or a scene that involves nudity. It doesn’t always have to be sexy.

And that’s not always easy to do, especially with respect to “ass-crack,” or, “butt crack.” And when I was going over edits with my newest release, “Fangsters,” the editor had a problem figuring out what I was trying to do in one scene. Without going into too much detail right now, the scene called for a description of one character’s ass, and then it went into descriptive detail about the fact that all ass is different. Some asses are large, some small. Some are heart-shaped, some are pear-shaped, and some, unfortunately, are even flat and square. It’s rare to find two asses that are absolutely identical.

In this scene the one character mentions how he’s not fond of short “ass-cracks,” and that he prefers longer more voluptuous “ass-cracks.” I thought I’d made that clear enough in the book. Personally, while I’m not clinical expert on human anatomy, nor do I think I need to be because that would be boring in erotic romance, I’ve seen “ass-cracks” that vary in length all my life. And the scene takes place in a nightclub in NY where there’s a “Best Buns Contest.” This is the scene I’m talking about.

As the DJ walked up and down the line, pointing to each bare ass and waiting for a response, Anton had a feeling Leo would win this contest hands down. The two skinny guys had bony asses with those painfully short ass cracks that had always been such a huge turn off for Anton. But Leo and the big guy had nice full round bottoms that resembled perfect upside down hearts, with long even cracks that went up to the smalls of their backs.

And this is how the editor reacted:

“How so? Again, I’m not sure what you mean?

I was completely and utterly stumped. I’m not joking. I sat at my desk gaping at the comment, wondering how in the world I would address it without being snarky. I even asked Tony, and he gaped right back at me. So this was how I replied:

I’ve seen short ass-cracks and long ass-cracks. I’ve seen crooked ass-cracks and some that even went a little sideways. No two ass-cracks are alike. If you don’t think it makes sense, you can cut it out, because I don’t know how else to describe the line that runs up the middle of an ass any other way. And they are all different.

Of course the editor and I both got a laugh out of this, and I added a line or two to make him happy. And I really wouldn’t have minded him removing that from the scene because it wasn’t intergral to the story. But I have to admit that it made me think twice about “ass-cracks” in general, and whether or not I’m the only one who ever noticed there was a difference in them. And, for the record, this wasn’t even a sex scene. This was a bar scene and there was nothing sexy about it.

I also started to wonder about what the clinical term for “ass-crack” is, so I did a simple search and found this at Wiki:

The intergluteal cleft, also known as the natal cleft, the vertical gluteal crease, the gluteal cleft, and, colloquially, the “butt crack” or “arse crack”, is the groove between the buttocks that runs from just below the sacrum to the perineum, so named because it forms the visible border between the external rounded protrusions of the gluteus maximus muscles. The intergluteal cleft is located superior to the anus.

And there you have it, plain and simple. So the next time anyone questions you about ass-crack, you now have the clinical term to use instead of the common term. And for those who don’t think there’s a difference in “ass-crack,” and think they are all the same, I highly suggested looking into this when you have some free time. The photo above speaks louder than anything I could write. I also think I’ll stick to “ass-crack” when I’m writing an erotic romance. I don’t think my readers would appreciate having to look up intergluteal cleft, or natal cleft, while they are reading. It might make me look more literary, but that could be debated.

July 13th Release: Something For St. Jude

For upcoming release, “Something for Saint Jude,” I wanted to post something ahead of time in case I forget. It seems that something new comes up all the time and I often wind up posting more about other things than I do my own fiction.

“Something for Saint Jude” is a short story…8,000 words…, it’s set in both Wyoming and on a cruise ship (one of those gay cruise ships), and it’s about two people from the same small town who wind up falling in love on vacation. It’s being published by, as are most of my other short stories. And the release date is set for July 13, 2012.

It’s a gay erotic romance with an adorable geek and a big strong cowboy. The story is there, the love is there, and so is the sex. There is one scene where the two main characters explore voyeurism that I found fascinating to write.

The cover art was created by Dawne Dominique, who has been doing most of my covers for the past five years at least. She’s also done the covers for my two self-published novels on Amazon this past year.

Here’s a blurb:

Jude Franklin lives a quiet conservative life in a small town in Wyoming. He’s head librarian, lives at home with his aging mother, and is terrified he’ll wind up like his spinster aunt…”Poor Patty Ann.” Though it’s too late for Jude to be considered a virgin, he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life alone. The trouble is the one guy in town he’s attracted to is a handsome young library patron who also happens to work on a ranch on the edge of town. Only Jude knows he can’t have him, so he makes a drastic move and books a summer vacation on one of those gay cruise ships he’s read about millions of times. Little did he know love was waiting for him in the most unusual place, and he had to travel halfway around the world to figure it out.

Here’s an excerpt:

Jude Franklin went to church services on Sunday mornings and played the violin in a small chamber group every Thursday evening. He met with his fellow birdwatchers on the third Wednesday of every month at the community college, where he parked his Dodge beneath the same oak tree in visitor parking.

Though he was on the wrong side of thirty years old, he still lived at home with his aging mother, a frail slip of a woman who spent most of her time in a Bentwood rocker knitting things no one would ever use. His dark pine bed was the same twin sleeper he’d slept in since his tenth birthday, with the same dreary beige coverlet and doomed white sheets. Every now and then he’d replace a dog-eared copy of a gay porn magazine with the newer release. He kept them hidden between old childhood comic books in a hope chest that rested at the foot of the narrow bed. He knew he needed to learn how to navigate the Internet better so he wouldn’t have to deal with magazines. It was getting harder to find them.

He worked as a librarian in a small town in Wyoming. His shirts were white button downs and his bow-ties dark solids. His slacks were either brown or gray or navy, usually a heavy wool or tweedy material, and always pressed and creased to perfection with a sharp line down the front and back. He wore either black or brown oxfords with round toes and chunky heels; at the end of his small nose fell black eyeglass frames that were thick and dated. To say he stood out in a town filled with men wearing cowboy hats and boots would have been an understatement.

But more than all this, Jude was a soaring, handsome man, with a lean swimmer’s body and a head of golden hair. And even though his slacks were as dreary as pond waters, his firm round buttocks turned more than a few heads when he walked down the street. He had the kind of perfect ass that made even straight cowboys stop and glance when no one was looking.

All this furtive attention usually passed Jude by. He knew men and women were attracted to him, but he wasn’t attracted to them. The only guy in town that made his heart beat faster didn’t even know he existed. This young guy had no idea that Jude came unhinged just standing next to him.

His name was Ricky Lorne and he came into the library on a regular basis. This handsome voracious reader of mystery novels stopped by two or three times a week, usually when Jude was working out front. He always removed his cowboy hat when he came inside. He wiped his cowboy boots on a mat at the entrance to make sure he wouldn’t track any mud inside. Though Jude always became too flustered to speak at length in Ricky’s presence, he assumed that Ricky either stopped by on his way to work, or on his way home to return or check out his books. Jude had overheard one of the young female library volunteers once mention to a girlfriend that Ricky worked as a cowboy on a ranch on the outskirts of town, and then they whispered something and giggled. Jude glared at them, glanced down at their muffin tops, and sent them to the non-fiction shelves to sort by author.

May 11th Release: Cowboy Mike and Buddy Boy

I just received the final draft of “Cowboy Mike and Buddy Boy.” The release date will be May 11, 2012. It’s a short story e-book being released with It’s gay fiction with a hint of romance. But I hate to classify anything I write anymore because someone else always does it for me. And I don’t mind this at all. Generally speaking: CMABB is gay, and it’s fiction. I’ll post more links when it’s released.

No spoilers, though. Here’s the blurb and a brief excerpt.

When Noah realizes he’s fallen in love with the wrong person, he decides to change his life and his circumstances. He vows he’ll never get involved with a cowboy or a married man again. But when Noah’s married cowboy, Mike, begs him not to leave, Mike explains that his marriage was over a long time ago and then he promises to do the right thing. Unfortunately, Mike’s wife finds out about Mike and Noah before Mike has a chance to tell her he wants a divorce. And, this all happens on Halloween night, when Noah meets Mike on his way home from a costume party. It’s the first time Noah’s ever done drag in his life and it’s only a joke. But Mike’s wife doesn’t find it funny when she catches Mike with his hand up Noah’s tight dress in the backseat of a car.

One autumn a few years back, there was an attractive, young man who began to wonder if his life was heading in the right direction. He had good reason to wonder. But he was having such a damn good time sneaking around with his married lover, he decided not to think about it…too much.

He was only 22 years old at the time, a recent college graduate with a degree in business, still working as a waiter in a small, rural town in Montana, waiting for his real life to begin. He was slim and lanky and muscle-toned, with a shock of dark brown hair that screened his forehead and thick tresses that always appeared slightly wind blown. Dark lashes framed his deep blue eyes and a dimple in his chin caused most people to glance at him twice. If someone didn’t know him well, they would have thought his bland taste in clothing wasn’t his best asset. He had an unadventurous style of dress, veering precariously close to parochial-school uniform.

He did deserve some credit in one area. Most guys his age, with his small-town background, would have settled for marrying their high-school sweetheart and ignoring their innate, natural urges with men. “It’s only a phase I’m going through,” they would have told themselves. “I’ll just get married, have a few kids, and I’ll stop thinking about guys sooner or later,” they would have rationalized. In spite of how much progress gay people had made in urban areas, in rural areas, gay life was still one of the top-ten taboos, and gay people still had limited options.

It never occurred to Noah to say that even once. He simply
could not help the way he felt about his married lover, Mike, and the things
they did when they met up on the sly. For that matter, he couldn’t help the
fact that he’d always been attracted to men, especially cowboys.

On the night Noah began to question where his life was going and the magnitude of sleeping around with a married man finally hit him, he was meeting Mike at the rest stop on the interstate. They met here often; it was safe and no one ever would have thought to look for them there. Mike was Noah’s first and only lover; a man who could curl Noah’s toes and make his eyes roll to the back of his head with the simple touch of one finger. When Mike held Noah in his arms, the world tilted on its side.

Release Date: A Young Widow’s Promise

I just received my author copies for A YOUNG WIDOW’S PROMISE and learned the release date will be October 28, 2011.

I can’t thank Dalia and Janet over at enough for editing this book. And I can’t thank Dawne Dominique enough for creating the cover. As usual, I gave her an unrealistic, lengthy description of what I wanted the cover to be. And she interpreted it, brought it all back to reality, and came up with a cover that was better than what I’d expected.

I’ll post more when the book/novella is released. But I’d like to make it clear this is a m/f historical romance with a m/m subplot, that’s set during the civil war, and has a very happy ending. It’s also extremely low in the heat level department. There is erotica, but not anything that would be considered extreme or too graphic. In this case, the story didn’t call for it. I know I’m sometimes the first one to complain there isn’t enough erotica in some books. But I just didn’t think this novella needed it.


I just got word ANOTHER REGULAR BUD will be released July 22. This isn’t exactly a sequel to A REGULAR BUD, but the themes are the same.

Here’s an excerpt from line edits I just finished:

When I pulled into Bob’s service station, I
passed the gas pumps and parked head on
against one of the open garage doors. My legs
were sore, and my feet were pulsing. I’d just come
from football practice, and it was warmer than
usual for that time of year.
It wasn’t a serious football team, and I wasn’t
a serious football player. Just a group of guys I’d
know in college who liked to get together and toss
a ball around outside a gym after work. Though
I’d showered with the guys after practice, all I
wanted to do was go home and plop on the sofa.
But I’d been having troubles with the car, and
I didn’t want to let the situation get worse. It was
Another Regular Bud
the end of October, and I had a busy weekend
coming up and didn’t want to deal with car
Earlier that afternoon, I’d done something
extremely out of character: I’d stopped at a small
erotic boutique to pick up a pair of six-inch black
leather stilettos.
Though I’d never done drag before, my best
friend had talked me into going to a costume
party that Halloween weekend as one of the
characters from the movie Burlesque. Not any one
character in particular. I was just going for theme
this time.
I’d already ordered a sexy, slinky lace and
leather outfit from an erotic website and a short
blonde wig from another. A good female friend
was going to help with the make up and fake
fingernails. But I’d been worried about ordering
the high heels online and figured it was better to
go out and buy them in person to make sure they
fit well. I didn’t want to walk around in pain all
night. And to my surprise, the high heels I
bought fit almost as well and were almost as
comfortable as my old black boots, even with my
black socks.
Before I turned off the ignition, I pulled off the
high heels and threw them in the back seat. The
saleswoman had warned me it was a good idea to
get used to them before I wore them that
weekend. So after football practice, I decided to
wear them on the drive home. When I pulled up
to red lights and stopped beside other cars, I
couldn’t help laughing at what they would have
done if they’d known the nice-looking, straightacting
guy in the car next to them was wearing
black six-inch stilettos.

Billabong Bang: Release Date – Jan 14th

This short story stand alone e-book, Billabong Bang, started the publication process way back in August when the sun was shining and we were in the middle of a heatwave. And for reasons that just kept popping up, the release date kept being delayed time and again. It was partly my fault, because on the last round of edits I decided to cut the entire first third of the story and rewrite it. But I’m glad it took that long, and I think the characters benefited from it. It’s multi-cultural m/m erotic romance, with a main character who is of African descent.

Another great cover by Dawne Dominique.