Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Burn the Sky: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Burn the Sky is on track for a mid-January release, so I (finally) get to show you the cover Chinchbug did for it.

And here's a little taste to whet your appetite:

Master Tevari opened the saddlebag that Kian had abandoned. He pulled out a set of chains and manacles, similar to the ones Garrik had glimpsed in the castle dungeons on the rare occasions when he and Jaire had crept down there to explore.

“What are those for?” Garrik asked, worrying his lower lip between his teeth as he eyed the chains.


Garrik let out a nervous laugh. The Wytch Master arched an eyebrow. His expression was deadly serious, and Garrik swallowed his laughter. “Whose protection?”

“Yours. And mine and Kian’s, should things come to such a pass.” Tevari handed the chains to Kian and motioned for Garrik to enter the nearest bedroom. Garrik sat on the bed and removed his boots and his heavy overtunic.

A few moments later, the Wytch Master entered the room, wooden cup in hand. He offered it to Garrik. “Drink this, Your Highness. All of it.”

Garrik sniffed the liquid and wrinkled his nose. It had a foul smell, and bubbled and fizzed ominously in the wooden cup. “What is it?”

“It will help lower your natural defenses, easing the way for me to seek your power.”

He drank it down, nearly gagging at the taste, then lay back on the bed. Kian’s movements were brisk and efficient as he locked the metals cuffs around Garrik’s wrists and ankles.

“Kian,” Garrik said in a low voice, “look at me.”

Kian finished securing the chains to the bed frame and slowly met his gaze.

“Are you truly so frightened?”

Kian’s eyes flicked toward the Wytch Master and then back to Garrik. “It is your safety and your sanity I fear for, Garrik,” he whispered. “Are you certain this is what you want?”

“It is,” Garrik said. “Not just for Altan, but for Jaire. What kind of life will he have if the Wytch Council forces him to take the throne?”

“What kind of life will he have if you are dead?” Kian whispered fiercely. “Have you thought of that? Who will protect him then?”

Dead? Garrik’s certainty began to waver. Kian and the Wytch Master surely knew what they were about. If they were both frightened…

He gave himself a mental shake. What Kian and Tevari thought didn’t matter. There was no other way to protect Jaire. He tore his gaze from Kian’s and focused on the Wytch Master. “I’m ready. Do it.”

The Wytch Master moved to his side. “Then prepare yourself, boy. Because this will hurt.”

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thank You!

The nomination period for this year's Goodreads M/M Romance Group's Member's Choice Awards has just finished, and the first round of voting has begun. If you're a member--go vote now!

I was thrilled to see that two of my stories have been nominated. Gremlin's Last Run was nominated for both Best Paranormal and Best Sci Fi/Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic/Steampunk, and Human Choices was nominated for Best Love's Landscapes Story. Thank you so much to the people who enjoyed my stories enough to nominate them!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

WIP Excerpt: Burn The Sky

By the time the sun had set, Garrik had had enough of breathing exercises, and his failure to master even the simplest one had him prickling at the Wytch Master’s every comment.

When Ilya calmly suggested he start again for perhaps the hundredth time, Garrik’s irritation finally bubbled over into anger. “Enough! What’s the point of this? How is this going to teach me to control the shift?”

Ilya said nothing, but regarded his student with an expectant expression, as if waiting for him to continue.

“Breathing is simple,” Garrik tried to explain, “and… and I don’t even have to think about it. Shifting is… it just happens. I can’t stop it.”

“But you can stop your breathing.”

Garrik stared at him helplessly. “It’s not the same thing.”

“It is very much the same thing. The difference is simply a matter of degree. Both your breath and the shift are within your control.”

He had nothing to say to that. How did one control something that was so utterly beyond control? Garrik wasn’t the one causing the shift — it was happening to him, whether he wanted it or not.

“Begin again,” Ilya said in that infuriatingly calm voice.

That cool air of superiority sent a surge of white hot fury coursing through Garrik.

As before, the shift began without warning. One moment, he was drawing breath to fuel a caustic tirade, the next he found himself in the grip of unspeakable pain. His anger turned to acidic fire racing through his blood, and his flesh began to stretch and tear.

He was dimly aware of his body changing shape and lifting into the air on wings of flame. Everything was fire, inside and out. Garrik burned, and so did the darkening sky.

Lost to the raging fire, Garrik forgot everything until a quiet song of ice wound its way through the inferno of madness. It was the only thing in the world that wasn’t made of flames, and it riveted his attention as it moved through him, dousing the fire, freezing the madness. Garrik clung to it, knowing the cold was the only thing that could save him.

A breath of icy vapor ghosted across his burning skin, and huge frost-rimed wings wrapped around him, smothering the flames in their dark embrace.

The ice took the pain with it, and when Garrik came back to his senses, he was lying on the cold stone of the watchtower roof. There were arms around him, and a warm, male body pressed against his back. With a start, Garrik realized that he was naked and so was the man who held him.

His body responded with shocking swiftness, and Garrik turned over and pulled the man to him. A different kind of heat surged through him as his mouth moved over warm flesh.

The man in his arms responded to his touch, arching against him and turning his face to meet Garrik in a heated kiss. Garrik’s hands moved to explore slender limbs, narrow hips, and long, tousled hair—

The man tore his mouth away from Garrik’s and let out a needy whimper. Garrik caught a flash of pale eyes in the moonlight and a glint of copper hair.


It was the Wytch Master he held in his arms, the Wytch Master who writhed and moaned at his touch.

Garrik jerked back, shoving Ilya away from him. “What in Aio’s name—?” His voice sounded rough and harsh in his ears.

Ilya stared at him with wide, stunned eyes for a long, frozen moment before turning away and rolling gracefully to his feet. Before Garrik could say a word, Ilya turned on his heel and strode toward the stairs that led down into the watchtower.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaNo 2014: In Which I Attempt to Warp Space and Time

Since I started this blog a couple of years ago, I've gone from having absolutely no one in my life who writes, to having a huge on-line community of M/M writers that I hang out with, get inspiration and advice from, and generally have a good time with.

These guys are awesome, and when a bunch of them started getting excited about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) I started thinking about it. I might have even mentioned that it looked like it would be fun, but I have a ton of Family Stuff to deal with later this month, and I didn't think I could manage it.

Then I started thinking about how I have all my releases planned for 2015 except there's this big hole in the summer labelled Still To Be Written Fantasy Novel.

Next thing I knew, I was all signed up.

So this will be the month when I shall attempt to bend the laws of physics to my will, warping space and time in such a way that I create a little bubble of writing time that's all my own.

50K in a month?

No sweat.

The project is tentatively titled "Leythe-Blade", and it will be another story that fits into the tapestry I've started weaving in Human Frailties, Human Strengths, and Human Choices.

Here's a brief description:

Sasha is a healer with dreams of being a warrior. When he takes up his grandmother's sword in order to defend his Clan from attack, he gets far more than he bargained for. The sword--Ryka--is a leythe-blade, a magical weapon with the power to send gentle Sasha into a ruthless, killing frenzy. When the berserker rage subsides, Sasha finds himself the sole survivor of the attack.

A healer with blood on his hands does not deserve to live, and all Sasha wants to do is crawl away and die. Ryka has other ideas; Sasha is now her bond-mate, and she will do whatever it takes to keep him alive.

Lukas is a mercenary soldier, charged with protecting his commander’s younger brother on a journey through the Middle Kingdoms. When Lukas and Gwydion find Sasha alone and in agony, Gwydion's prophetic visions tell him that Sasha's survival is vital to the future. Gwydion's visions are seldom wrong, so Lukas turns his mind to helping Sasha find meaning in the tattered remains of his life.

But the last thing the shattered young healer wants is a reason to live, and the last thing Lukas expects is to
become Sasha's reason to live.

If all goes well, you can look for it sometime in the summer. Now, I'm off to down a pot of coffee and get on with this time-warping thing. Can't be that hard. They do it on Star Trek all the time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gremlin's Last Run is Live!

For those of you who have been patiently waiting, Gremlin's Last Run, Book 2 in my M/M sci-fi series, Guardians of the Pattern, is now available at at Amazon, All Romance, and Smashwords (and will soon be available at other retailers).

This book is 100,000 words of sci fi adventure and romance, much of it taking place aboard a small freighter out in the deep dark of interstellar space.

Here's the book description:

Rhys Tyler, captain of the Gremlin, is no stranger to living on the edge: the edge of solvent; the edge of legal; the edge of sane.

An empath so sensitive that he cannot bear human touch, Rhys makes his living hauling cargo through the deep dark, the interstellar emptiness between populated star systems. And if keeping his aging freighter in working order means resorting to smuggling, well, a man does what he has to in order to survive.

Alek McKinnon is a Federation agent in trouble. Everything that could have gone wrong with his latest mission has. He's been ambushed, kidnapped, imprisoned, and forced to participate in an illegal experiment that has crippled his psi and left him bonded to an ancient artifact that has already proved itself deadly.

When Alek stows away aboard the Gremlin, all he's looking for is a way home so he can report to his superiors. He's not expecting to find a psion in desperate need of training. And he's sure as hell not expecting to fall in love.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Update, October 2014

Just a few things...

1. Gremlin's Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 2) is in the final polishing stages. Look for it mid-month.

2. For the month of October, Psi Hunter (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 1) will be priced at $2.99.

3. Burn the Sky (the dragon shifter story) is back from my beta readers. The next big project is to tear into it and get it ready for an end of the year release--maybe (see Item 5 below).

4. Ghost in the Mythe (Guardians of the Pattern, Book 3) will be next up after Burn the Sky, Look for this one in the spring of '15--again, maybe (see Item 5).

5. The release schedule after Gremlin's Last Run is tentative and nebulous at the moment--I have some Family Stuff I need to deal with, and at this point, I'm not sure how much it's going to impact my writing schedule. Check here for updates.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Gremlin's Last Run: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Gremlin's Last Run (Guardians of the Pattern: Book 2) is still on track for an October release, so it's time to reveal the awesome cover Chinchbug did for it.

That's Rhys on the cover (that's Captain Tyler to you, dirtsucker), and here's a little taste...


There was a flicker of tension from somewhere nearby, something leaking through his faulty shields. At the sound of the cabin door sliding open, Alek whipped his head around to face his captors.


He couldn’t make out anything beyond a fuzzy shape in the dim light until the figure across the room slapped the control panel, bringing the lights up.

The brightness stabbed through his head. Alek winced and brought his hands up to cover his eyes. His captor said nothing, and when the pain finally receded, Alek lowered his hands to see a familiar figure leaning against the door watching him with an unreadable expression. Tousled black hair, pale face, dark circles of exhaustion under his eyes—this was the man Alek had slipped past while he’d been busy with the cargo chief. He still wore the black flight suit, and even up close, there was no corporate logo or insignia of rank to be seen.

“Where am I?” Alek demanded. “Who are you?”

A slow smile spread across the man’s features as he studied Alek. “You can call me Captain for now. And I think I’ll be the one asking the questions here.” His voice was husky, and he spoke Standard with an accent blurring his vowels. He shifted his body slightly to display the weapon in his hand.

Alek went cold at the sight of the needle gun. Not a weapon he’d expected to see in the hands of a civilian. Not a weapon he wanted to be on the wrong end of, either. Those tiny slivers of metal might not clear the muzzle with enough velocity to damage the hull of a spacecraft, but they shredded flesh like nobody’s business.

“Now,” the man said, “how ‘bout you tell me just what the hell you thought you were doing in my cargo hold? Besides bleeding all over the place, I mean.”

Alek swallowed around a suddenly dry throat. If this had been a corporate ship, his status as a Federation agent might have been worth something, but here it could get him killed. He tried to speak, but all that came out was a croak.

His captor leaned toward the small desk built into the wall and picked up a water bottle. He approached slowly, holding it out to Alek. When Alek reached out to take it, the captain let go, jerking his own hand back quickly, as if he was afraid Alek would make a grab for him. Woozy from pain-killers and secured to the bunk, he couldn’t imagine that he looked like much of a threat.

He sucked down a mouthful of cold water, then set the bottle in one of the recessed spaces at the head of the bunk. “Thank you.”

The captain had moved back to his spot by the door. He nodded briefly and fixed Alek with an expectant look. “Now… cargo hold?”

“Yeah. Cargo hold. Look, I’m sorry about that. I didn’t have a lot of choice. Can we… start over, maybe without the needle gun? My name’s Alek. And you are…?”

His captor raised one dark eyebrow and made no move to put the gun away. “I’m the man who didn’t vent the cargo hold or turn around and dump you in the lap of Station Security. I’m also the man who fixed you up and put you to bed, so you can damn well do me the courtesy of explaining yourself.” His lips curved in a grim smile. “Or you can take a walk out the air lock. I don’t much care which, and I’m warning you, my bullshit tolerance is at an all-time low right about now, so you might want to consider your story carefully before you begin.”

Friday, August 22, 2014

Not As Tech-Stupid As I Thought...

So my latest self-torture project is to learn enough HTML and CSS to be able to build my own eBooks from the ground up. I know what you're thinking: But Jaye, you're always going on about how tech-stupid you are! How can this possibly be a good thing?

Here's the secret: *whispers* I'm not really tech-stupid. It's actually more like tech-lazy. In my other life, I was a ceramic engineer and I worked in the nuclear waste industry. I was rather shocked to discover that some of those skills are actually transferable... although, you know, not the really interesting ones relating to the Care and Feeding of Weapons-Grade Plutonium. And not the ones about How to Avoid Having Your Reproductive Organs Irradiated. (Useful Hint: showing the source your arse can help, but only for certain types of radiation.) And definitely not the ones relating to how they figure out how much dose it took to kill you if there's a Horrifying Incident involving neutrons. (Useful Hint: it's a neutron dosimeter affectionately referred to as a toe-tag.)

Unfortunately, the transferable skills I'm talking about have to do with all that useless boring frustrating coding experience I had in graduate school, back in the days when Windows was called DOS, and most of our lab equipment wouldn't recognize a computer if it came up and bit it on the arse. In those days, I had to write my own data analysis program and design my own graphical user interface. It was painful. And slow. But it got the job done a lot faster and with a lot more accuracy than if I'd had to do it the old-fashioned way, with a slide-rule calculator, scissors, and library paste.

And it made everyone in my research group think I was a Coding God of Unparalleled Brilliance. *mwahahahaha!*

Believe it or not, there is a twisted and deviant part of my brain that actually enjoys coding and finds it rather soothing *ducks to avoid thrown objects*. HTML/CSS makes total sense to me. I've yet to try putting together an eBook file, but nothing I've read so far smacks of black magic. Who'd have thought?

What's really sad, though? I'm actually sort of geeked about the prospect of building eBook templates.

I think I need to get out more.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Update, August 2014

1. Gremlin's Last Run is still on track for a September/October release. I'll be able to be a bit more specific about the release date once this round of edits is done. Also, look for the cover reveal at the beginning of September.

2. The dragon shifter story, Burn the Sky, is out for beta. The cover is done (and it's gorgeous--there are dragons!), and the draft I sent off to the beta readers runs around 60,000 words. I'd like to have this one out by the end of the year, but it'll depend on how much work it needs... and how much life interferes!

3. Ghost in the Mythe (Book 3 of Guardians of the Pattern, and sequel to Gremlin's Last Run) will be next up. This is Miko's story. The first draft is written, and my next job is to give that a read-through and fix it up before sending it out to the beta readers. This one is in much better shape than Gremlin's Last Run was, so I'm hoping it'll go a bit faster.

Looking further ahead, I'm planning to wrap up the Guardians of the Pattern series in 2015 with book 4, Wildfire Psi, which tells Luka's story. The series was originally intended to be five books, but the fifth one (which is already written) would work so much better as the first book of a second series, and since these characters are far from done with me, that's how it's going to go. More on that later! Also in the works is a fantasy trilogy, working title: Kingmakers. The first draft of that one is already written, but will need much in the way of taming, I think. I also have some ideas for more adventures with Ash and Tor kicking around in my head, one of which is absolutely screaming to be written, so that one may come sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Cover Art: Facing the Mirror

Facing the Mirror, my free, short, sort-of-prequel to Psi Hunter has a new look! I had to ask very nicely--and carefully--because when someone you love does something nice for you--like makes you a cover for your book, and it looks about a million times better than anything you could make yourself--you don't want them to think you don't like it. And I did like it. But the old cover just didn't fit with the covers for the rest of the series, so I asked Chinchbug if he could maybe, when he had some spare time, just sort of see if he might be able to do a cover that was a bit more like the others in the series.

Wow, did he ever! Take a look at this:

The new cover is now live at All Romance and Smashwords, and will be appearing soon at Amazon and other retailers.

Now I have to go make that dude a really nice dinner!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Burn the Sky: A Sneak Peek

While Gremlin's Last Run is being ripped to shreds by my beta team, I've been working hard on a fantasy dragon shifter story called Burn the Sky. I wrote this as an 18,000 word novella last summer, intending to submit it to a publisher for an anthology call. While my beta team all liked it, everyone said it wanted to be a novel. And I agreed. Cramming the story and the ideas I had into 18K just wasn't going to cut it. So I put it away until I had time to work on it. Over the last few weeks I've been rewriting it as a short novel, and it looks like it's going to end up somewhere around 55,000 words. Chinchbug has already made the cover, and I should finish up this draft in a week or so. I'd like to have this out by the end of this year or early next (the timing will depend on how much work Gremlin's Last Run needs before it's released).

The Blurb:

Prince Garrik is the heir presumptive of Altan, next in line to be crowned Wytch King. There’s only one problem: in order for Garrik to be crowned, he must possess Wytch power of his own, and thus far, whatever power Garrik might possess has shown no sign of awakening. As things stand, it is Garrik’s younger brother, Jaire—a dreamer completely unsuited to wear the crown—who will take the throne after their father.

Things come to a head when the Wytch King, who has grown increasingly impatient with the situation, demands that Garrik’s power be forcibly awakened. Hoping to protect his brother from the burden of rule, Garrik allows the attempt—with disastrous results. Now, Garrik must learn to control the fiery dragon that rages within him before he destroys everything he loves.

Wytch Master Ilya has been alone for years. Learning to control the icy beast slumbering deep within him has already cost him his family and his lover, and Ilya will never open himself up to that kind of pain again. Summoned to Altan to avert disaster if he can, Ilya has no intention of allowing anyone to thaw the ice in his heart. When he meets Prince Garrik, sparks fly, and Ilya finds himself fighting feelings he’d thought long buried.

Can Garrik’s fire melt Ilya’s icy heart? Or will Ilya be forced to use his ice to quench the flames that burn within Garrik once and for all?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Smashwords Annual Summer/Winter Sale

Today kicks off Smashwords Annual Summer/Winter Sale. For the entire month of July, you can get my M/M fantasy novel, Human Frailties, Human Strengths and my M/M sci fi novel Psi Hunter (Book One of the Guardians of the Pattern series) for 50% off using coupon code SSW50 at the checkout. Facing the Mirror, a short story which takes place in the Guardians of the Pattern universe and is sort of a prequel to Psi Hunter, is also available for free on Smashwords.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Human Choices Available Now

My free M/M fantasy story, Human Choices, was posted today as part of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's Annual Don't Read in the Closet Event, Love's Landscapes. If you're a member of the M/M Romance Group, you can read it here, if not, you can join here.

The downloadable versions are now available at the MM Romance Group's website.

I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Update, May 2014

Just a few update things:

1. Human Choices, my Love's Landscapes story is finished and turned in to the Love's Landscapes team. I got final edits back this morning, and those have been turned in, too. Final word count is just over 50K. I've beta read stories for three other authors doing the event, and I can tell you, just like last year, there will be some awesome summer reading!

2. Gremlin's Last Run is nearing the halfway mark on the rewrite. Almost 50K out of 100K done there, and then it'll be off to the beta readers to see what they think.

3. New WIP: I'm working on a dragon shifter novel... it was originally written as a novella, but all three of my beta readers said, "You know, Jaye, this really wants to be a novel." Ugh. I can't seem to write anything short, even when I try. The good thing is that it's already outlined and I know the characters. The bad thing? Finding time to write it. I'm planning to get going on it this summer, while Gremlin's Last Run is out with the beta readers.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WIP Excerpt: Gremlin's Last Run

Now the the Love's Landscapes story is off for a final proofread before I turn it in, I'm able to turn my attention to Gremlin's Last Run, which is Book 2 of the Guardians of the Pattern series. I'm close to a third of the way through the rewrite, and on track to have this out in the fall of this year.

Alek McKinnon snapped his eyes open and found himself staring into the face of a dead man.

What the fuck…?

He closed his eyes, hoping—praying—that this was just another hallucination or maybe a nightmare.

It felt pretty fucking real for a nightmare.

The floor he lay on was hard and smooth where his cheek was pressed against it. He was cold and he hurt in places he shouldn’t even be able to feel. Not so much in his body, but in his center. The light at his core wasn’t the warm, steady golden glow he was used to sensing; it flickered like a guttering candle, swirling with dark, subdued colors.

The chaotic babble of hundreds of minds in close proximity poured into his head. It hurt, and he reached down into his center and tried to visualize the shielding pattern he relied on to protect his mind. The light slipped away from him when he tried to form the pattern.

Was he still drugged? He shuddered at the thought and tried again. This time he was able to shape the light, but the colors weren’t right. The pattern he formed felt warped and twisted in ways he didn’t understand. When he tried to push the pattern into place, it didn’t fit properly. It gave him some relief, but it didn’t cut out all of the mental static like it should have...

Not drugged then, but damaged, certainly.

Nightmare… please, be a nightmare…

The alternative didn’t bear thinking about.

Alek drew in a shuddering breath and opened his eyes again. The glassy blank stare hadn’t changed. He rolled away from the body, only to encounter another on his other side.

Steeling himself against the stabbing pain in his head and the sharp ache in his side, he forced himself to his knees, looked about wildly, then sank back to the floor.

They were dead.

The techs, the guards… all of them.

Nausea twisted through him and he lowered his gaze to the floor. He couldn’t bear to look at them. If this was real, then he was responsible…


It had to be.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Love's Landscapes Story: Title and Cover Art

The Love's Landscapes story I'm working on, while not a sequel to Human Frailties, Human Strengths, does take place in the same world, and anyone who has read either the novella, Human Frailties or the novel will recognize the magic system that's in place, some of the locations mentioned, and possibly a couple of the characters. It is, however, written as a stand-alone story, so no prior knowledge or background is needed to read and enjoy it.

I'm calling this one Human Choices. It will be released sometime this summer, between June 1 and September (no exact date, but that's part of the fun!). Once it's been released on Goodreads and is available for download on the M/M Romance Group's website, I'll post links here. I also plan to make it available as a freebie via the usual channels... so eventually it'll be available at all the usual ebook retailers... I'll post links as they become available.

At any rate, without further ado, here is the fabulous cover designed by Husband Beast:

Monday, March 24, 2014

WIP Excerpt #2: Love's Landscapes Story

Just this morning I wrote The End at the end of the first draft of the Love's Landscapes story. For those of you who've read last year's story, Human Frailties, or Human Frailties, Human Strengths, the novel-length expansion of that story, you'll recognize the world this story takes place in... and you might even recognize a couple of the characters. Maybe. Anyway, here's another teaser to keep you going:

Jaedin fingered the bundle of dried stems and leaves hanging from the rafters of his workshop. The blackseed plants were dry enough to crumble between his fingers and the small seedpods cracked open, spilling their precious burden into his open hand. He nodded with satisfaction, removing the bundle from its hook on the ceiling and carrying it carefully to the worktable that stood in front of the window. The seeds needed to be separated from the stems and the leaves before they could be brewed into the pain-numbing salve the healer had requested.

The afternoon sun shone in the window, flooding the worktable with warm, golden light. He glanced up and found himself captivated once again by the sheets of coruscating orange light that gave the mountain range called the Fireskye its name. The curtain of light hung over the peaks, rippling and shimmering in all the colors of fire: oranges, pinks, and golds. In the bright sunlight it was a sight to behold, but at night it was breathtaking.

Five years, he’d lived in this little cottage at the end of the dirt track that was the main road through Rosefire, and he was still struck by the sheer beauty of the view right outside his workshop window. Talon would have loved that view. He could almost hear his lover’s voice. Poetry in the sky, Talon would have called it—

Jaedin froze, a lump forming in his throat.

This place was not supposed to make him think of Talon every time he turned around. That had been his reasoning for settling so far from the land of his birth. The oaks of the Skarwood looked nothing like the pine forests of the northlands, and the Fireskye had softer, gentler lines than the sharp, jagged peaks of the Iceshards.

He and Talon had served nearly ten years in the mercenary army of Rhane the Red. Rhane’s Raiders, they’d been called, and he’d been happy to count himself one of them, up until the night their camp had been attacked by Vakarran regulars and Talon had taken an arrow through the heart.

Jaedin squeezed his eyes shut and willed his mind along a different path, but this particular track was so familiar he was helpless to do anything but follow as that last night replayed itself over and over in his head.

The shouts and the screams. The flickering shadows cast by the fires, the acrid scent of smoke on the wind… Talon shuddering in his arms, struggling to breathe… Talon staring up at him, unable to speak… those blue eyes that had once looked upon him with love and passion going dull and dead as Talon fell into the final, long sleep…

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

WIP Excerpt #1: Love's Landscapes Story

Last year, I participated in the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's annual writing event, Don't Read in the Closet. Last year's event was called Love Has No Boundaries, and the story that came out of that was Human Frailties, which I later expanded into the romantic fantasy novel Human Frailties, Human Strengths. This year's event is called Love's Landscapes, and I'm participating again.

In this event, group members are encouraged to submit an idea/prompt for a M/M romance story that they would like to see written. Members find a photo or picture of one or both of the characters in the story, and write a Dear Author letter explaining what kind of story they would like. Some of these prompts end up being quite detailed, others are extremely open-ended, leaving much up to the author.

The group moderators then post the Dear Author letters, which are open for claiming by any writers in the group who would like to try fulfilling the prompter's request. Finished stories are due by May 1, and these stories will be posted in the group's discussion boards throughout the summer months and will also be made available for download on the group's website like they were last year.

The prompt I claimed this year will be another fantasy story, and here's a little taste...

“…Seb and Nida will spend the nights in their cottage, as usual. That means you’ll be alone at night.” Master Rikard’s bushy black eyebrows wriggled across his brow as he spoke. A mind-picture slowly swam through the haze in Khy’s head. He closed his eyes trying to hang onto the image.

Black… fuzzy… caterpillar… crawling across the Master’s face… or had it been a leaf? He frowned, eyes still closed. Had he been helping Seb pull up carrots? Or was it potatoes? Had that even been yesterday? Maybe it had been—

“Khy!” Master Rikard’s voice lashed through the air like a whip.

Khy looked up and blinked, his mind-picture of the caterpillar shattering into tiny pieces as he struggled to focus on the Master.

“Pay attention!”

“Yes, Master.” Khy’s own words sounded dull and slurred. He couldn’t make his sounds come out all crisp and clean the way everyone else could. His tongue just wasn’t fast enough.

“With any luck, I’ll be back in a few days. I’m not happy about leaving you alone at night, mind, but there’s no help for it. With half the village down with the fever and the brothers run off their feet tending the sick, I can hardly send you to the monastery. Do your chores, take your medicine, and mind Seb and Nida. Do not make me regret leaving you in charge.” With that, Master Rikard strode out the door and was gone in a swirl of dark robes and darker temper.

Khy stared after him, blinking and trying to remember exactly what the Master had just said.

Something about charging…

He frowned and smacked the side of his head with his fist. Master Rikard sometimes did that for him when it took him too long to think about things. It was supposed to make him think faster and smarter. Khy wasn’t sure that it helped. Except for hurting, it didn’t feel any different from his normal thinking, all thick and slow, as if someone had poured honey into his head.

He stared hard at the door and tried to gather together the pieces of his thoughts. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t quite recapture the words the Master had said. He had to go all the way back to the caterpillar. He smiled as he watched the way its little feet gripped the twig. And then Master Rikard had shouted… and all the pieces of the caterpillar picture had scattered in his head, and--

Khy’s breath caught in his throat and his heart skipped a beat. The Master really had said in charge.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Taking it on the Road...

Today, I have been invited to Arielle Pierce's blog to talk about Psi Hunter and the Guardians of the Pattern series. Arielle doesn't live in a Swamp, but I'll be wearing my bright red wellies anyway, just in case I get lost. This map I have? It's got things like "east" and "west" and "left" and "right" on it... which always seem to get me into trouble.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Psi Hunter is Live Just in Time for Read an E-Book Week!

Psi Hunter, the first book in my M/M science fiction series Guardians of the Pattern, is now available at All Romance, Amazon, and Smashwords, and will be coming to other retailers soon.


Smashwords kicks off their annual Read an Ebook Week today, and I'll be participating in that. From March 2-8, 2014, Human Frailties, Human Strengths is free using coupon code REW100 at the checkout, and Psi Hunter is 50% off using coupon code REW50 at the checkout. Facing the Mirror, a short introduction to the series, is also still free on Smashwords.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Afternoon Tea with Arielle Pierce

Today, I'm welcoming author Arielle Pierce to the The Swamp to talk about her new release, The Faery Reel. Arielle has graciously agreed to make the dangerous astoundingly gorgeous trek through The Swamp to join me for Afternoon Tea...

Jaye: [rubbing hands together in gleeful anticipation] Ooh, look… another victim guest! Looks like that Heffalump Trap worked as advertised…

Arielle: [picking damp leaves and twigs out of her hair] Er… Jaye? I think I might be lost. And I just fell down a hole. There was chocolate and a bottle of wine at the bottom…

Jaye: [proudly] Yes, that’s my Author Trap. What did you think? Highly effective, eh?

Arielle: Hmm...that's not really the correct hole to put a wine bottle in... [rubbing backside and glaring at Jaye]

Jaye: [muttering] … rusty engineering skills… out of the work-force… unemployable…

Osian: [rolling eyes] Doesn’t surprise me one bit. I'm sure she plays the bodhran as well.

Arielle: Er…

Jaye: Come on then, sit down, look, there’s a tea pot and real tea, and biscuits… [shooing away small alligator which has curled up on the biscuit plate and is contentedly munching away] er… well, they’re a bit soggy, but they should still be good…

Arielle: [eyeing soggy biscuits distrustfully] Er… no, thanks, really, I’m not hungry. Just a cup of tea, perhaps…

Jaye: [pouring tea] And who is this sweet little morsel you’ve brought with you?

Osian: Oh please! I'm on to you, lady.

Arielle: This is Osian. He’s the main character in my new release, The Faery Reel.

Jaye: Ooh, a new release… do tell…

Arielle: Well, it takes place in Ireland, at the beginning, and is about a young violinist named Osian (pronounced 'OSH-yin) who has been conned over by his best friend, who is American (Osian is Welsh) for a fiddle workshop. He catches the eye of Conall, a faery, whilst they're playing in a pub, and Conall kidnaps him during the summer solstice, taking him to the Otherworld. Osian cares for him and is given the choice of escaping, via a faery deal, or staying with a man who loves him.

Jaye: Sounds intriguing… what about Osian? Is he as sweet and innocent as he looks?

Osian: I am not innocent!

Jaye: [growling] Watch it, mate, I’ve got a swamp full of hungry alligators here…

Arielle: Osian, really! [nudges Jaye's side] We already know you're not innocent.

Osian: [spluttering for a moment] Fuck off.

Jaye: [shooting Osian an evil look] Those alligators all play the bodhran, you know. Incessantly. [Turns to Arielle and rolls her eyes] And I suppose you’re going to tell me he’s your favorite character in the story.

Arielle: Oh, absolutely, hands down. He's such a snarky, bitchy but comical little git.

Jaye: [under her breath] I’ll say.

Osian: [looking smug] coc oen

Jaye: [whispering] Alligators…

Arielle: I couldn't help but fall in love with him.

Jaye: Can’t imagine why.

Arielle: I think I just love how unconscious he is about himself, how everything he thinks he isn't, well... actually, he is. He may think (or want to think) he's not short...but he is. He may want to think he's not a twink and he doesn't have pretty boy looks...but he both is and does. And he may want to think he's not submissive... but....

Osian: [going rather red and looking indignant] Hey, by Welshmen standards, I'm just the right size, thank you very much!

Jaye: [ignoring him] Did it take a lot of work to get just the right degree of bitchiness and submissiveness?

Osian: [glaring] I am not submissive! Whatever gave you that idea?

[patting Osian on the head] Actually, you are, dear, but that’s all right. Unlike some characters who slowly develop, he came into my mind's eye fully formed as he is in the story. Conall, his faery lover, changed a lot, but Osian didn't.

Jaye: Hmm, well, I’ve read the story. Definitely submissive. And certainly oblivious.

[grumbling] Don’t know why I put up with this abuse…

If Osian’s any example of the sorts of voices you have in your head, I find myself wondering what got you started writing in the first place?

I started writing seriously when I came back from staying in Spain over two years ago, with this idea of a horse shifter. I just loved him and couldn't stop thinking about him, and the two bull shifters he gets involved with, in Spain, within the world of rejoneo, the bullfight on horseback. As I was merrily writing (and knowing absolutely nothing about M/M romance) my mind began wandering back to what had happened to Rafael and how he came from living in Mexico to being rescued by these two bull shifters. It was around that time that my best friend informed me in her 'I know best' tone that I should write gay erotica. I took a peek in at other stories and thought 'yeah, I can do this' and began writing out the beginning of Rafael's coming of age in Mexico.

In Oct of 2012 I finished the first part of his story and published it as a gay erotica. What a steep learning curve that was! In the space of a few weeks I had to learn to format correctly, in doc, text and mobi and epub. I had to very quickly learn to make a cover and about stock sites, and fonts, etc.

I think I did every single thing wrong, in that first story. I felt this quite sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I hit that 'publish' button on Amazon. And then about fainted when I returned the morning after and discovered that someone had actually bought that story!

Jaye: It is definitely a great feeling when you put your first offering out there and people actually buy it. So the story that got you started on this road was a gay romance/erotica sort of plot. What made you continue working in the M/M genre?

Arielle: My mum is a lesbian, and came out when I was 12. I spent my teen years living half the week with her, half with my dad, and she was a big fan of Naiad Press, which was the big press back then for lesbian romance. I just loved reading her books and I loved the fresh feeling those authors brought to their work, and said to myself, even back then, that I wanted to write a book that would be published by them, even though I wasn't a lesbian myself.

I mean, I really kind of wish I were lesbian. Life certainly would be simpler with a female lover! But no, I was into men.

Like really into men, and the more men, the better.

Luckily for me, so was my older brother! So in addition to hanging out with my mum's friends, I also tagged along when my brother went to gay clubs and hung out with all his friends as well. I was sort of like their teen punk bargain basement fruit fly deal...one fruit fly for six gay men! I just loved it and love that world. For a young girl there was no better, and safer place, to grow up in.

I've written my whole life and in almost all my stories, the main character is a gay man, so honestly, it was no hardship at all to open the door to their bedroom and see what they were getting up to.

I do have to pinch myself everyday. I just can't believe I'm writing in a field I love so much and surrounding myself in a world I grew up in and am so proud of. Every day I smile when I get to sit down to write. I just love it.

Jaye: Tell us a little bit about that sitting-down-to-write process. How does that work for you?

Arielle: I'm this annoying type of person who has to have some sort of narrative to go along with anything I'm really interested in, or that I watch a lot. So when I sit to watch the racing on TV, I have to have a story about a trainer and his stable of steeplechasers. When I watch Wimbledon I have to have a little plot going on about a Spanish guy coming back from injury and his admiration of another handsome player/competitor. When I watch anything on WWII I have to have a plot on about a group of spies...etc., etc., you get the idea. So that's sort of the first stage, what I call the daydreaming stage.

If an idea really gets stuck in there, or I think now's the time for it, I sit and begin the main plotting points. I tend to be hit sideways by the opening and write that down quickly, and then let the idea sit and/or begin the plotting for it. Once the main points are in place, then I go back and start off where that beginning ended.

So like with The Faery Reel I had been researching the plot for a Roman slave story (just how different could this story have turned out than The Faery Reel!) and I was reading The Faery Faiths of Celtic Countries and the opening of this story hit me right up against the side of the head. I quickly wrote it down and then just let it sit for a few months before coming back, once there was space to begin writing it and all the main points were worked out. A lot of things didn't stick with the script in this one, but Osian's voice is what held it together from the start.

His strong voice was both a blessing and a bit of curse, for me.

Osian: [shuddering delicately and tugging on Arielle’s sleeve] Can we go home now? [eyes baby alligator which has returned to biscuit plate] I’m tired of this creepy, horrible bog!

Jaye: [plucking baby alligator from biscuit plate and setting it on her shoulder] Hey! This is my home!

Osian: [muttering] And your point is?

Arielle: [taking Osian firmly by the hand] Yes, I think it’s time we took our leave. Thanks for the chat, Jaye. And the soggy biscuits.

Jaye: [waving dispiritedly while absently petting the baby alligator, which is curled around her neck and chewing on her hair] Bye! Thanks for coming… [mutters to self] How come nobody ever wants to stick around?

So yeah, folks, that was Arielle Pierce and her pretty boy, Osian. If you’d like to read about Osian’s adventures, check out Arielle’s new release, The Faery Reel. It’s available on Amazon and Smashwords, and will be coming soon to other retailers.

Arielle can be found at Goodreads and at her blog.

Check back for more Afternoon Tea fun and frolics! I am already in liability insurance discussions negotiations with a couple more potential alligator snacks guests!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Update, February 2014

Thing #1: Psi Hunter is on track for a March 3 release... manuscript is out for a final polish and then I get to do my Paranoid Final Proofread and my Frantic Search for Missing and Misplaced Words. And here, because I don't think I actually put it in a blog post yet, is the gorgeous cover art by Chinchbug. I think this one is my favorite, but then I think that about all of them...  We'll have to have a vote when all five (or more?) books are out.

Thing #2: The rewrite of Gremlin's Last Run is sitting at about 14,000 words right now, and is heading for 100K. (I hope. This one was actually written first and needs a lot of tweaking to bring all the world-building in line with the rest of the series.)

Thing #3: That New Year's Resolution? The one about not wasting so much time on the internet? The unplugging the cable thing is working out real well... except? Now there is knitting. Sitting on my desk. To pick up whenever I get stuck. I can't decide if the fact that I'm all of a sudden getting a lot of knitting done is a good sign or a bad one.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Afternoon Tea with Lia Black

Today, I have an exciting new Feature to unveil (no thanks to my Minions): (dramatic music) Afternoon Tea! During Afternoon Tea, I will interview any authors who I can capture lure can be coerced manage to find their way through the wild and untold dangers pristine beauty of The Swamp, and perhaps offer them a moldy crust of bread biscuit.

For the Inaugural Edition of Afternoon Tea, I’d like to welcome author Lia Black to The Swamp. Lia has graciously agreed to make the perilous journey deep into The Swamp in order to chat about her new release, A King's Ransom.

Lia: [shouting from somewhere off camera] Jaye? What the hell? I thought you said afternoon tea, not wilderness survival camp.

Jaye: [disappearing into a mass of hanging vines and returning dragging Lia behind her] Right here, Lia. It is afternoon tea, look I’ve got the tablecloth and crumpets and everything. There’s even a tea cozy.

Lia: [muttering] I thought The Swamp was just the name of your blog…

Jaye: That’s what everyone thinks. Have a seat. Have a crumpet, and let’s get down to brass tacks… Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about yourself… How did you get into writing in the first place, and M/M in particular?

Lia: [sitting gingerly on the edge of a grubby and rather precarious-looking deck chair] Honestly, I ask myself that question on an almost daily basis (well that, and “Am I wearing pants?”). My first book that I ever sent out to the world… or ever finished for that matter, was a het romance called The Loss of Sunlight. Before that, I hadn’t written anything but angst-ridden journal entries since I was seventeen. Right after LoS, Spiretown happened. I was worried — because I had no idea that m/m existed at the time — that I would lose any fans I’d managed to get with my last story… or that maybe nobody would take me seriously because I didn’t have boy parts. I contemplated using a pen name, but in the end, I just put it out there and I ended up with a whole new set of readers!

Jaye: [nodding sagely] Yes, the pants are important, especially for public appearances.
Your new release, A King’s Ransom, is a fantasy story. What can you tell us about that?

Lia: Urgh, this is always the hard part for me. The story starts with Kaidos trying to NOT be a thief anymore, but he’s not having an easy time being anything else. So he takes a contract to kidnap a prostitute and bring her to some nobleman overseas; the money he is offered is more than he would make in a lifetime, and of course, he accepts. Everything seems to be going as planned until Kaidos finds out that “she” is a “he”. It’s a story told in two parts; the first part of the story is Kaidos and Veyl’s journey together, both literally and emotionally, and the second part is them trying to keep that bond despite them being separated. Of course, there is sex and magic sprinkled in there (sometimes at the same time), political intrigue, and a talking bear.

Jaye: I see you’ve brought a couple of your characters with you… not the talking bear this time? I’m disappointed.

Lia: You said afternoon tea… I was afraid he might get carried away when he saw the food. Wouldn’t want anyone to get mauled.

Jaye: Ah, well, no matter. Safety first, and all that. Perhaps you could introduce us to these two lovely young men and tell us a bit about them?

Lia: Sure, this is—

Veyl: [flipping his mile-long hair over his shoulder and poking it into Lia’s eyes — Jaye ducks out of the way] Veyl, charmed. I am, of course, the star of A King’s Ransom…

Kaidos: [rolling his eyes] Only because you happen to get kidnapped — you spend most of the second half asleep.

Lia: [stepping between the two] Er, next question please?

Jaye: [still staring in disbelief at the vision of twinky loveliness before her] Er… yeah… question… oh, yeah… what was the most challenging part of writing A King’s Ransom?

Veyl: Trying to make him likeable [jerks his head towards Kaidos].

Kaidos: [leering] You seemed to like me well enough last night.

Veyl: Next question, please.

Jaye: Who is your favorite character in A King’s Ransom, and why?

Kaidos and Veyl: Me.

Lia: I actually love all of them for different reasons. I think my favorite one to write was Aegeus, though…

Veyl: Aegeus??

Kaidos: That weird little wizard??

Lia: He was so wonderfully damaged, and sort of a tragic character. Imagine having so much magic, but every time you use it, it messes you up mentally and physically. The poor guy was a wreck.

Kaidos: I’ll say.

Veyl: [touching Lia’s shoulder in mock-sympathy] You know, you really aren’t normal…

Jaye: [under her breath] You’re telling me…

Lia: Hey—

Jaye: Right. Next question… Aside from Aegeus, there are several other supporting characters in A King’s Ransom who are intriguing enough that I’m wondering if we’re going to see more stories that take place in this world.

Lia: Yeah, I hope so. It just depends if and when they want to show up. All of them have their stories to tell.

Veyl: [pouting] But none of them are nearly as interesting as we are. Our sequel should surely be next.

Kaidos: Yeah, you know, I’m certainly always ready, willing, and able to contribute to the sex scenes.

Veyl: [raising a perfectly groomed eyebrow] Hm, I can think of some contributions… how about the sequel where I stay awake the entire time as a Personage of Great Importance and you’re my willing slave?

Kaidos: I can agree to half of that.

Veyl: [licking his lips and getting all slinky] Which half?

Kaidos: How about the bottom?

Jaye: All right boys, save it for the bedroom, eh?

Lia: Jaye, do you have a thermostat control on your swamp? Maybe a bucket of cold water to throw on these two? [fans self]

Jaye: Sure, just a sec… [produces bucket of water and advances threateningly toward Kaidos and Veyl]

Veyl: Not on my expensive silk shirt you don’t, evil minx—

Kaidos: [clapping hand over Veyl’s mouth] Quiet! You don’t want to piss her off… you should see what she does to her characters… [shudders]

Lia: Whew. Thank you, Jaye. Now, where were we?

Jaye: I was just about to ask if you would tell us a little bit about your writing process.

Lia: Well, I write with a laptop in my room—camped out on my bed. It’s kind of my cave. Sometimes I get ideas from snippets of conversations, maybe catching something for the half-second or so I have the TV on, dreams…they come at me from all sides. Usually I form the characters first, and then I build a plot around them. I like to think of it as building a body…I start with the skeleton, which is the roughest rough draft ever (I don’t outline—yes, that makes some of my fellow authors crazy), then I start filling in the organs, adding muscle and flesh, and finally the cosmetic additions.

Veyl: Gross.

Kaidos: You’re complaining about cosmetics? Who went trudging around the market for you yesterday morning because you ran out of kohl?

Jaye: [doing her best to ignore them] So what other projects do you have in the works?

Lia: Well, at any one time I have a ton of things all waiting to be worked on. At the moment I am working on Mercury’s Net, a science-fiction story about a sociopathic killer who loves children’s shows, but has a difficult time grasping some of the concepts they teach...

Veyl: [in a stage whisper] Really, really not normal, dear.

Lia: [glaring at Veyl] And I am trying to work on sequels for Worthy and Spiretown. I have had some people beg me for more het romance, but it’s just not my thing right now.

Kaidos: Lucky for us.

Veyl: [pouting] I’m stunningly beautiful… I wasn’t supposed to be a woman, was I?

Lia: No, Veyl, you were always going to be a boy… and before you ask, so was Kaidos.

Kaidos: [under his breath] Thank the gods for that! [grabs Veyl for a passionate kiss, which turns into a passionate grope…]

Jaye: [picking up the sock which has been flung over the tray of dainty pastries] Oh, dear… looks to me like you’d better get these two home before they disgrace themselves… ooh… er... too late…

Lia: Yeah, we should probably wrap this up... unless you want the Legion of Decency breathing down your neck...

Jaye: [looking about furtively for men in suits carrying large butterfly nets] Okay, well, thanks for being here today, Lia...

Lia: [hauling Kaidos and Veyl apart and dragging them off-camera by the scruffs of their necks] Yeah, thanks, Jaye! It's been fun... [under her breath] Honestly, this is why we can't have nice things!

So, yeah, that was Lia Black, and if you'd like to check out her new release, A King's Ransom, it's available on Smashwords, where you can get it for 40% off from now until February 16th using coupon code LV74S, and Amazon and will be coming soon to other retailers.

Lia can be found at her website and on Goodreads.

Check back for more Afternoon Tea shenanigans... I don't have an exact schedule yet, but I'll get one posted as soon as I finish finding some more victims baiting this trap sending out invitations...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Where Are My Minions?

Okay, so, I got a Domain, right? In case anybody wasn't watching... www.jayemckenna.com is now MINE, ALL MINE!!! (Much evil cackling and rubbing of hands ensues...) And through some amazing feat of technical wizardry, it actually leads to The Swamp. Which is sort of amazing, because The Swamp is normally really hard to find, and not many people stumble across it.

Eventually my tame IT dude is going to go all technical on it and it will be Visually Stunning and there will be confetti and trapezes and dancing penguins. And maybe a few sexy dudes in loincloths, if the entertainment budget stretches that far. (But don't hold your breath...)

But in the meantime, it's just me in this miserable charming, overgrown bug-infested pristine Swamp.

By myself.

Now, I might be pretty new to this whole Being on the Internet Thing, but Dudes, if this is my Domain, where the hell are my Minions? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there supposed to be Minions? Do they just show up? Is there a form? With a check-box thing for making sure I don't get stupid Minions? Because, you know, it's really embarrassing when they try to invade the blog next door, or set fire to wrong windmill...

Hmm. I'd better put in a call to Tech Support. And check the mailbox. I suppose they might have been shipped surface mail. I hope the Minion Warehouse remembered to punch a few air holes in the box...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Discovery Most Alarming

Over the xmas holidays, I made a Most Alarming Discovery. It finally dawned upon me that when I leave those little yellow sticky-notes around the house as Gentle Reminders to the Spawn to get off their lazy arses and pull their collective weight, they don't actually read said sticky-notes. Yeah, I know, I'm a little slow, or as Husband Beast would say, Distracted.

Case in point, the Saga of Getting the Spawn to Take Responsibility for the State of Their Bathroom. (Yes, I'm aware that this is a battle I will undoubtedly lose.)

The bathroom did eventually get cleaned, and not by me. Which would have counted as a Major Victory, except for the fact that the following weekend, the Saga began anew...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Down to Brass Tacks

I have just one New Year's resolution this year: quit wasting so much time on the internet.

You know that saying about how when the going gets tough, the tough get going (or go shopping, or make lemonade, or whatever it is they do)? When I'm supposed to be working, my brain seems to interpret that phrase as, "When the going gets tough, the tough go online."

Regrettably, this doesn't get much writing done. And unfortunately, if I'm reading author blogs or scouring Goodreads for my next read, my brain is perfectly capable of justifying this as writing... or research... or market analysis.

Therein lies the problem. As long as I can justify it, it isn't going to stop. So what needs to happen is that internet use needs to become Uncomfortable and Awkward so that I will avoid it with the same fervor with which I avoid other Uncomfortable and Awkward things. Like exercise. And housework. And my in-laws.

To that end, I have unplugged my writing computer from the internet and set up the decrepit, ancient, snail-paced laptop in the other room. I have equipped it with a mushy, unresponsive keyboard, a mouse that is far too small for comfort, and an extremely uncomfortable chair.

Now if I want to go online, I have to sit on a horrible chair and use equipment I hate, and wait ten seconds between page loads... hardly worth the effort, right?

And what's even better? In order to get the writing computer back online, I have to crawl under the desk to plug the cable in. With my back the way it is right now, that is just not happening. (Well... it could happen, but then I would be stuck under the desk until someone took pity on me and rescued me, and I shudder to contemplate the logistics of that.)

Eventually, I'll be able to crawl under desks again, at which point I'll have to come up with a different way to outwit myself.

Or maybe I'll just have Husband Beast set a few mousetraps back there.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another Roadtrip!

Today I'm over at Adrian J. Smith's blog for an interview. We've been conversing via email for a while now, getting to know each other. She had lots of great questions, and we talked about writing and publishing in general, and a little bit about the process of turning the novella, Human Frailties, into a novel. Stop over and check it out! And while you're there, the giveaway is still running through January 16th. Enter for a chance to win a copy of Human Frailties, Human Strengths.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cover Reveal and Excerpt... Right This Way, Folks...

Today is the day I get to show off the awesome cover art that Chinchbug did for Psi Hunter. Brandon Shire is graciously hosting a cover reveal and an exclusive excerpt on his blog! If you'd like to see the gorgeous cover and get a little taste of the story, head on over there!

Monday, January 6, 2014

More Bloggy Roadtrips and a Giveaway!

I have a couple of cool things to tell you about. First is that I'll be visiting Brandon Shire's blog on Friday, January 10th, and you'll finally get to the see the awesome cover art Chinchbug has done for Psi Hunter and get to read an excerpt!

Then on Monday, January 13th, I'll be over at Adrian J. Smith's blog for an interview. Adrian is doing a giveaway on her blog right now, and you can win a copy of Human Frailties, Human Strengths or one of two books by Francis James Franklin by logging in here. The giveaway runs through January 16th.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Sneak Peek at '14

A couple of weeks ago, I worked up the 2014 Master Plan... which is a (probably too ambitious) list of what projects I plan to work on and what kind of release dates I'm looking at for the next year. All of which is subject to the whims of Fate, Real Life, Kids, Dogs, the Universe, and Everything Annoying that Comes Between Me and My Writing (which is, you know, everything).

At any rate, here is the (definitely too ambitious) list of stuff I'd like to get out the door this year:

Psi Hunter: Book 1 of the Guardians of the Pattern M/M sci fi series. Working on the edits for this one. I'm looking at late February/early March for the release. If you want a sneak peek, I'll be doing the cover reveal on Brandon Shire's blog on the tenth of January, and there'll be an overview of the series and an excerpt and everything. (Except I don't think there will be confetti... I'm afraid I go a bit mad when there's confetti, so it's probably safest to avoid it altogether.)

The Deep Dark: Book 1.5 of the Guardians of the Pattern series, a not-yet-written short/novella that will introduce Rhys, one of the main characters in Gremlin's Last Run. I've got a solid idea for this one, just need time to get it down. I'm hoping to release this in the spring.

Gremlin's Last Run: Book 2 of Guardians of the Pattern. First draft of this one is written and has been torn apart, ready for the rewrite. I'll be working on the rewrite as soon as Psi Hunter is out the door. Hoping to have this one out in the summer.

Facing the Music: Book 2.5 of Guardians of the Pattern, a not-yet-written short/novella. This story will be the sequel to Facing the Mirror. It will focus on the events that occur directly after the events in Facing the Mirror, and gives a bit more background on Miko, who is a main character in book 3. I want to have this one out in the fall.

Book 3: Book 3 of Guardians of the Pattern is thus far untitled. First draft is done, and I'll be starting the rewrite over the summer. This may be out at the end of '14, but given my apparent lack of control over Fate and the Universe, more realistically, it'll be early '15 for this one.

Looking Even Further Ahead: I'd like to have the entire Guardians of the Pattern series done and released by the end of '15. Five books are already drafted and just need rewriting/tidying up. But I've got an idea for another Big Problem for my intrepid band of heroes to deal with, which may just require a second series. I've also got a M/M dragon shifter novel I'm playing with, and an epic (book 1 is in the second draft and sitting at a whopping 250K) M/M fantasy series that is mostly drafted.

What I really need is ten more hours of consciousness a day... I had it on my xmas list, but Father Christmas did not leave it under the tree for me. Not that I'm ungrateful, or anything... I mean, he would have been well within his rights to leave me a sock full of reindeer poo, and he didn't do that, either, so I guess I shouldn't be too bitter about it...

Anyway, a very Happy New Year to all of you! I'm all ready for '14... are you?