1 Hour Facebook Chat

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As part of Rainbow Gold Reviews blog debut, they’re hosting live chats with a variety of authors.  Come join me tonight on Facebook at 9pm EST/ 8pm CST for a 1 hour chat.  Three other authors will be joining me and you can drop by and say hello or ask us questions!

If you’d like to join the event, just follow this link:

Facebook Event – 1 Hour Author Chat

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Plot Bunnies 2

Plot Bunnies 2

My friend Red sent me this and it’s sending plot bunnies frolicking through my head. At the moment I’m juggling more of them than I can handle so it’ll have to go into the archives for “someday”. It’s too good to forget though. Someday, I’ll tell his story.

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Edited to add: I just ran across this picture and think he might be who the man at the cafe is waiting for.  Hmm.

Book Review – “Jurassic Heart” by Anna Martin

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Summary:

When paleontologist Nick Eisenberg learns that someone thinks they have found velociraptor bones in Alberta, his curiosity overrides his desire to stay in London. After all, he’s one of the world’s leading experts on prehistoric predators and has always wanted to look for the velociraptor’s North American cousins. There’s only one problem: eco-conservationist Hunter Joseph. While Nick supervises the dig, Hunter rallies support from the locals to oppose the way the team is destroying the landscape in their search for dinosaur bones.

Nick and Hunter just cannot get along. Hunter is self-righteous and pouty. Nick is narrow-minded and geeky. But they have to figure out how to work on the same site without killing each other, especially since someone else out there seems determined to cause Nick more problems than he could have ever imagined.

Review:

First of all, I loved the story.  It was a fantastic blend of sweet and funny with a bit of a mystery as Nick and Hunter work to figure out who is sabotaging the dig.  I liked the way the men discovered that they had more in common than they initially thought.

I absolutely loved the paleontology angle.  It was something new and different, and I found it quite refreshing.  I also felt the author did a great job explaining dinosaurs and digs without talking down to the reader or losing them in a ton of  technical details.  I love learning while I read and I thoroughly enjoyed the way that was incorporated into the story.

Hands down though, my absolute favorite part of the story was the secondary characters.   Boner-best friend and former occasional lover of Nick’s-is a riot.  I liked the non-romantic closeness he and Nick had and his character consistently made me chuckle.  The Goth Girls, River and Raven, were also a nice touch and some great comic relief.

My only real complaint was that I would have liked to see a bit more tension between Nick and Hunter once they realized they were attracted to each other, the switch between enemies to lovers was a tad fast, but overall, I enjoyed the story.  Great cover art and title too, which are what drew me in initially.

It wasn’t until after I finished the story and went to review this that I realized Anna Martin was also a contributor to the Dr. Feelgood Anthology.  I enjoyed her short story Differential Diagnosis as well and will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future.

New Story – “Finish”

If you haven’t read Spit or Swallow and Aftertaste yet, what are you waiting for?  If it’s the final part of the Wine Tasting Series, your wait is over.  Finish is available!

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 Summary:  

After four months together, Sean and Lucas have never been happier, but a wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens that stability.  Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’ fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.  Can they repair their relationship before it turns sour?

Excerpt:

Lucas didn’t wake until they were well into Michigan. He stirred with a quiet sigh and shifted, his knee nudging Sean’s hand where it rested on the gearshift. “Sorry,” he muttered, his voice a low, sleepy rumble. “Didn’t mean to fall asleep on you.”

“It’s fine, I like driving.”

“I was like this as a kid; get me in a car with a little bit of sunshine, and I’m out.” He stretched for a moment, then his hand came to rest on Sean’s thigh. Through the denim, it was scorching hot and the heat seemed to travel everywhere before settling in Sean’s groin. That was the way it always was with Lucas though. No matter how many times the man fucked him, he could never get enough. They’d switched it up a little, once Sean felt comfortable with the idea. That had been enjoyable too, but when it came right down to it, Lucas topping was what they both preferred.

“Where are we?” Lucas asked, his hand leaving Sean’s thigh as he reached for a water bottle.

“North of South Haven. We have a little less than three hours to go.”

“It’s gorgeous,” Lucas murmured, cracking the bottle open and taking a long drink. Blue Star Highway ran along Lake Michigan’s coast, and although it was impossible to see the lake at the moment, the green, leafy trees and occasional rolling fields were picturesque. “I’m glad we did this” —he squeezed Sean’s knee— “work has been so busy, and I’ve been looking forward to spending some time alone with my handsome boyfriend.”

A thrill still ran through Sean every time he was referred to as Lucas’ boyfriend, but he couldn’t resist teasing him. “Too bad you brought me instead.”

Sean didn’t have to turn his head to know Lucas was scowling. “Sean,” Lucas said, the note of warning clear in his voice.

Chuckling, Sean reached over and grabbed Lucas’ hand, threading their fingers together. “I’m kidding; you know that.”

“You better be,” Lucas grumbled. Hands down, Lucas was Sean’s biggest champion. For every moment of doubt he had, Lucas was there to gently coax him out of it.

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Sean and Lucas are very dear to my heart and although the writing for it went slowly, I really enjoyed the final part of their story.   It gave me a chance to explore more of Sean’s insecurities and get a glimpse of the fears Lucas has.  The story is available in the following places.

All Romance

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Like Quicksilver

The last few days have been exhausting.  About a week ago, my husband and I noticed that one of our cats, Mercury, seemed a little subdued.  We kept an eye on it but didn’t really notice anything different until Sunday.  On Sunday it seemed like she was exhausted and even going up the stairs took a lot of effort.  When we took her to the vet on Monday they found out she was severely anemic.  There were several theories as to why; possibly some kind of intestinal perforation or a tumor but the vet finally settled on the most likely possibility of it being an auto-immune disorder that attacked her red blood cells.  Our vet–who is amazing–did everything he could, but yesterday when she didn’t improve after treatment, he suggested we take her to the Michigan State University vet clinic.  It’s one of the top-rated vet clinics in the country, and, thankfully, only twenty minutes away.  We were so hopeful that they’d be able to do cure her.

Unfortunately, MSU discovered that in addition to the anemia, she also had an enlarged heart and fluid in her chest cavity.  Even if she’d made it through the testing and treatment for the anemia, which was unlikely, the enlarged heart meant she probably only had a few months left.  Ultimately the decision came down to quality of life and whether we’d be keeping her alive for our own sake or hers.

So we held her while the vet put her to sleep and then brought her home.  The other cats had a chance to say goodbye to her and today we’ll bury her in the backyard under the lilac bush we planted the first spring we lived here.  She’ll be tucked into the fuzzy cat bed she loved so much and next to the two rabbits we’ve also buried.

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I took the day off work today, knowing that even if I didn’t burst into tears every five minutes, I lacked the patience to deal with people.  It’s gloomy and rainy, which feels strangely appropriate and comforting and I’m having a quiet day at home with Ra, Copper, and Onyx.  We’ve had Ra as long as we had Mercury, about 8 years.  Mercury was a year old and he was a kitten when we got them from the Humane Society.  We’d been through the worst months of our lives, dealing with an apartment fire, theft, car accident, and personal health issues.  We were exhausted and worn-thin, our two-year relationship tested and then strengthened by the stress that piled on in just a few short months.  It was a crazy time to be thinking about adopting cats, but something coaxed us over to the side of the pet store where they housed rescue cats.

There was a cute little striped kitten who was very playful and we knew he was the perfect fit.  None of the other kitten clicked with us though, so we looked at the adults after asking if the Buy One, Get One Free deal applied to adult cats as well.  It did, so we checked out the adults.  At the time, Mercury was named Gracie and was rather plain looking.  Her fur was static-y and dull, but her eyes were bright and she reminded me a bit of a Russian Blue.  I saw the potential in her even though my husband wasn’t quite convinced, but he agreed to get her anyway and once we were cleared by the Humane Society, we took them both home.

After about twenty minutes of Ra growling at her once we got them home, they became inseparable.  She groomed him like a mama cat and they tussled and snuggled for years.  Getting them was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

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Mercury’s coat grew thick and plush, a gorgeous, silvery-grey color, and we fell in love with her.  She was an odd cat sometimes; stand-offish and solitary at first, but a year or so after we got her she seemed to relax.  We swore that while we were at work, she taught herself how to be cute.  Every day when we’d come home she seemed to have picked up at new trick for being adorable.  She’d flop around on the floor in the dining room, waving her feet in the air so we’d pet her belly.  She learned to make this rrr-rrr-rrr noise like she was winding up as she came trotting over to be pet.  She loved both of us, but she was totally my husband’s cat and she loved to curl up at his feet while he was laying on the sofa.  Before bed, she’d lay on one or the other of us, purring quietly while we read and bumping her head into the tablet if we stopped petting her.

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She was pushy sometimes, wanting attention, and she ate a lot of things she shouldn’t have. She nearly died after eating ten feet of sewing thread and had to have major surgery.  She chewed plants and there was an unfortunate run-in with a silicone, erm, toy.  I won’t go into details but yeah, that was an awkward trip to the vets.  She drove us nuts and cost us a hell of a lot of money over the years, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Last summer when we were working on our kitchen remodel, painting the cupboard doors in the garage, two kittens strolled into our driveway.  They were still very small, but walked up bold-as-brass like they belonged there.  I took one look at them and knew that they were there for a reason.  I didn’t really know what the reason was–the idea of having four cats seemed crazy–but now I think maybe it was so Ra wouldn’t be alone when Mercury was gone.  He and Copper are two of a kind and they spend a lot of time together and I am so glad he, and we, have them.

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Letting Mercury go was a difficult choice.  I’ve spent the last couple of days crying on and off and it’ll be a while before that stops.  I’ll wonder if there was any chance we could have caught the anemia sooner.  But, mostly, I’ll remember the pushy, feisty, pain-in-the-butt cat I was lucky enough to have for eight years.  Love you, Miss Mercury, you’ll be missed.

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Inspiration for “Geeks, Nerds, and Cuddles”

I had a few pictures posted on my Geeks, Nerds, and Cuddles board on Pinterest but my friend Red absolutely fell in love with Isaac and Paul and sent me some really fabulous pictures to go along with the few I’d already found.

Geeks Collage

The pictures are absolutely perfect for Paul and Isaac.  Come check them out!

New Story – “Geeks, Nerds, and Cuddles”

“Geeks, Nerds, and Cuddles” is the story I’ve been struggling with since December!  Not only is it a relief to have it finished and feel good about the way it turned out, I am eager to share it with you.

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Summary:

Plagued by social anxiety, Paul Conway is content with the online relationship he’s built with fellow nerd, Isaac Morrison. Isaac is determined to move their relationship off the screen and into real life but Paul’s fears stand in the way. The very thing that causes him anxiety in the first place might help him overcome it in the long run if he’s brave enough to face his fears.

Excerpt:

My online relationship with Isaac had made me feel like a normal guy, but meeting in person threatened that. I had social anxiety to the point where I’d been known to have panic attacks in public. It was humiliating but something I was used to. Granted, I was nowhere near as bad as I’d been in high school; I’d gotten a pretty good handle on my anxiety over the years, but it was still bad enough. Bad enough that I rarely went anywhere but work and the few places I felt comfortable. Bad enough that if I didn’t get myself under control I would flip out when I walked into the café where we agreed to meet. Bad enough that I was petrified I couldn’t go through with meeting Isaac at all.

Isaac asking to meet in person made me terrified I would lose the one person I cared about as more than a friend. I put him off for months, making excuses about why it wasn’t the right time, or why we should wait just a little bit longer, but this week, Isaac finally sent me a message begging to meet, and I’d been replaying it in my head ever since. His message was more or less an ultimatum. I couldn’t blame him; he wanted a full, real-life relationship, and while so did I, the fear that I’d disappoint him so much he’d never want to speak to me again was strong. I knew if I didn’t go through with meeting him, I risked losing Isaac completely. Isaac was a chance for me to move past my fears and live the kind of life I’d always dreamed of, but the more I yearned for it, the more my anxiety grew. I had promised him I’d be there but nearly every fiber of my being was desperate to turn around and head right back home. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to meet him, I just didn’t know if I could.

I dearly love Paul and Isaac and I think you will too.  Right now it’s available on several sites and the rest will go up in the near future.

All Romance

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

Getting It Right

I’ve been working on a short story since December.   I wrote about 3/4 of it before I realized it just wasn’t clicking.  It didn’t feel right.  So I re-wrote it, changing it from 3rd person to 1st.  That helped and I was able to finish the story, but something still didn’t feel right.

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I set it aside for weeks, tweaked it again, and then sent it to one of my pre-readers.  She gave me some good feedback and I tweaked it, but I hesitated before I sent it for a final edit.  I just wasn’t happy with it.  So I sent it to someone else who read through it and gave me even more feedback.  I made some changes, sent it back to her, made more changes and then it finally clicked.

The characters and the conflict hadn’t been fleshed out enough and it wasn’t until I fixed those issues that I finally felt comfortable sending it out for a final edit.  I never want to put out work that’s sub-par, but sometimes it’s important to step away before you edit it to death.  It’s difficult to know what a story needs; when to keep going and when to stop editing.  As a writer, I have to rely on the people I trust to give me feedback.   And I’m learning to trust my own instincts.  

So keep your eyes out, there will be a new short story coming to you in the near future and if I do say so myself, it’s pretty darn good.