Friday, December 31, 2010

Some New Year's Love

Brought to you by me, via Mr. January. (You know I like my cookies dunked!)

This is going to sound more like a Thanksgiving Day post,, so what. New Year's Day is a good time to reflect.

Although none of my books has yet found its way into DIKdom, some are finally turning up on Favorites of the Year lists. Good golly, Miss Molly! I didn't think it was possible! very deepest gratitude to Lisa at Michele 'n' Jeff Reviews for picking not one, not two, but three of my stories for her top fifteen. Lisa chose The Prayer Waltz, Electric Melty Tingles, and Mongrel. And I must shave off a slice of that gratitude for Jeff Erno at the same site; Jeff chose Fugly. I'm truly honored. (I'm also glad the folks at MnJ highlighted some books and authors I hadn't heard of before instead of coughing up predictable "yeah, yeah, what else is new?" picks. I love discovering new-to-me voices.)

Many profound thanks as well to Val Kovalin at Obsidian Bookshelf for recommending some of my titles this past year in her m/m fiction feature for All Romance eBooks' Wildfire newsletter. Val's support has bowled me over.

Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos has allowed me to offer my new releases as giveaways (in fact, there's a giveaway for precious_boy going on right now). I don't consider this a small feat. Even though Chris is the Queen of Links, setting up these listings requires an investment of time and effort, and that should never be taken for granted. Thank you, too, Lily, Lynn, and Jen (and a slew of people at Goodreads), for reviewing my books. It's always nice to see someone is paying attention! ;-)

I haven't been much of a blog hopper over the past year, but I couldn't have made it through each week without a dose of laughter from Tam and thought-provoking observations (!) from Kris.

What can I say about my author pals? Not enough. Aside from being talented writers, Wren and Kitty and Clare are a joy in every way -- insanely bright, funny, insightful, and kind. Oh, and hugs to Se for her unsolicited consideration in alerting me to things I wouldn't otherwise have noticed (like that CAPA nom). And then there are those selfless authors who've sent me personal messages just to let me know they've liked my work. (I'm not going to name them, but I hope they know who they are. Getting compliments from one's peers is a uniquely heady experience for any writer -- and for me, a boost to my often flagging confidence!)

I was also graced with superb publishers and phenomenal cover art in 2010. Although, contrary to popular belief, I did nothing to deserve the fruits of Anne Cain's and Christine Griffin's genius . . . I want more! :-D

So, dear people, may the New Year rain blessings on your lives. You all enriched my life in 2010.

(P.S. to my alma mater, whose football team made it into the Rose Bowl this year -- you suck!)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stranger Than Fiction

An author friend clued me in that I've been nominated in the Favorite Erotic Author category of The Romance Studio's 2010 CAPA (Cupid and Psyche Awards) competition. TRS describes the CAPAs as "awards given by The Romance Studio for excellence in romantic and erotic fiction." (Click on post title to read more.)


I have no idea how this happened, because, in all honesty, I know I'm not anybody's absolutenumberonefavorite author, but I think the nominations have something to do with TRS's reviews over the past year. I'm flattered but...


The fact that few romance readers have even heard of me will not exactly make me a strong contender (heh -- that, and the authors I'm "up against," like Cameron Dane, Maya Banks, Lauren Dane, Jaci Burton, Samantha Kane, Shiloh Walker, etc.)

Actually, the more I think about it . . .

Animated Pictures Myspace Comments

(Ai-yai-yai . . . contests.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Next Week, Different Channel

Please join me on Tuesday at Reviews by Jessewave, the largest m/m fiction review-and-discussion site (I'm pretty sure, anyway), as I ponder these two things:

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Dreamspinner accepted Visible Friend (my story involving a recovering heroin addict) and will be publishing it in April.

Abercrombie Zombie is proceeding, but at a shamble. :-) Jackson and Adin are calling to me again. A sequel to Mongrel is calling to me . . . faintly. My impression so far is that people aren't too interested in the book, and I'd probably be better off sticking to contemporaries. My imagination hopes I'm wrong.

I'll be a guest blogger-opinionator at Wave's on the 21st, although I'm not sure what topic to tackle. (Go ahead and throw ideas at me if you have 'em!)

The following was ganked from Etienne at the Dreamspinner authors loop:

Many people who chat on the Internet and use text messaging tend to overlook the "art" of capitalization. They shouldn't. Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Goodreads Snorting

Oh, lordy. Last night I sat here for two-plus hours wheezing suppressed laughter (suppressed, because JLA had gone to bed) over reviews at Goodreads. Mind you, the assessments I came across were for hugely popular bestsellers. No GR snark is going to have any measurable effect on these authors' careers. So I let myself be amused with a guilt-free conscience. (Actually, most of the reviews tickled me because of the way they were phrased, not because they were scathing -- although some were scathing and hilarious.)

What made me check out the responses to these books was a post at Katrina Strauss's blog. I've read the Glen David Gold novel, Carter Beats the Devil, but wanted to see what others thought of it. I've heard of but haven't read Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, so wanted to satisfy my curiosity about that one, as well.

OMG! Buwahahahahahaha!

Here, first, are some comments about Carter Beats the Devil. Mr. Gold's book, a whimsical bit of historical/biographical fiction, has a higher overall rating than his wife's, which was vilified as much as it was praised. (I liked Gold's clever novel very much -- smooth writing, fascinating subject matter grounded in meticulous research, droll humor -- but agreed with readers who felt it was overpopulated with characters as well as subplots and, as a result, got bogged down in the middle.)

  • disbelief got tired of being suspended and just came in and crashed the party. [ROFLMFAO! The best line I've ever read in a review!]

  • This is another one of those books with a cover so intriguing that I always pick it up whenever I see it, only to put it back down after reading the description on the back cover and finding it not to my liking, then immediately forget that I was ever interested in the book at all, until the next time I see it, when I do it all over again.

  • Wow...that took me two WEEKS to get through. Either it was a very meaty book or I was very busy.

  • ...the Gaimenosity of this book scored very low... [I assume this reader is a fan of Neil Gaiman. Otherwise, the comment makes no sense.]

  • I found the 500 pages more than I wanted to know about life in the community of magicians so I stopped at page 194. Worth reading, however. [???]

  • Magic is indeed magic. The Prohibition was also kinda magic. Blind people are magic too.

  • Maybe he'll write a book about clowns next.

  • Like other man-authored sprawling novels with lots of characters (mostly men), this book starts out strong but meanders a lot in the middle (metaphor for life!)

  • I don’t know why, but for some reason I find magicians inherently creepy. Ergo, I didn’t enjoy, nor did I finish, this book.

And now, for Ms. Sebold's reviews:

  • One book, two rapes. How's that for a bargain? I almost said three rapes, but then I remembered that I was a consenting adult and did indeed willingly part with my ten bucks...

  • This was the book that made me realise the serious flaw in the theory that if lots of people you see on the tube are reading a book, it must be good. I would say with some confidence that this is the worst book I've ever read in my entire life. The only thing that kept me going to the end was sheer bloody-mindedness; a determination not to be defeated by any book no matter how brain-deflatingly awful it is. That said, the endless cloying sentimentality in this almost made me throw it in the bin on several occasions, and it contains the single worst simile I've ever encountered in an entire lifetime of book-reading: "Her heart, like an ingredient in a recipe, was reduced."
    [Here, by the way, are other horrendous similes mentioned by different readers: “Her pupils dilated, pulsing in and out like small, ferocious olives.” And the subsequent comment: What does that even mean? What the hell? Did she actually think this was good writing?
    “The tears came like a small relentless army approaching the front lines of her eyes. She asked for coffee and toast in a restaurant and buttered it with her tears.” Another bit of commentary followed this quote, but I neglected to copy it. It was funny, though.]

  • I only finished it so that no one could pull the old "But it gets better..." on me. It does not.

  • So over-the-top melodramatic I almost lost my lunch... twice. I should have known better: NYT bestseller list + Oprah recommended = ptewy!

  • I got about halfway through it, but only because I was listening to the audio version.

  • If you like this book, then you hate literature. It's that simple. I'm not joking. Do not read this book.

  • I HATED this book. Truly. I read it on a flight and I disliked it SO GREATLY that when I finally landed home at PDX, I threw it away in the women's bathroom, rather than trying to sell it at Powell's or giving to an unsuspecting friend.

  • So why is this innocent girl who died before her time using her best friend's body to have sex with her boyfriend on earth? Who the fuck does that? And who the fuck is okay with that? I don't care if the friend was okay with it, that's still fucking sick. And that Suzie would even think of and go along with the idea was just fucking... ew. Was it meant to be tragic and romantic? Because that was just disgusting. Also, Suzie, you're dating one hell of a fucked up guy if he's also okay with doing something like that.
  • I think I'll read books by people who have brains in their head from now on. One star was far too high a rating. Minus a star would be far too high a rating.

  • 'Anguish Porn'

  • ...Anyone who finds Sebold to be an artful manipulator of prose or finds the last 50 pages of this book to be narratively or intellectually satisfying cannot possibly be playing with a full deck.

  • ...a heaping pile of unrealistic suburban vignettes that read like a watered down soap opera...

  • If Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks had an awkward romp on the set of CSI: Pennsylvania circa 1973, this book would be their love child.

  • Sebold's concept of heaven takes cliche to a new level. It doesn't even try to stretch the boundaries of an infantile concept of the afterlife, which is limited to the fulfillment of sensory pleasures. Really? All you can think of is that the air smells pretty and there are lots of puppies?

  • The only way I could finish it was to turn the speed up to 2x on my player, so I could listen really fast.

  • I am trying to make sure my review doesn't sound like I guzzled two quarts of hateraid, so bear that in mind. I hated this lame piece of crap. Seriously, I get why the world wanted this kind of book, but I really don't get why it's become this omghugebestseller.

  • I'm not a book burner but I considered it. Granted, this is my roommate's book, so that would have been a dick move.

Now I'm laughing all over again! People sure do take their reading matter seriously.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bits 'n' Bobs

I'd intended to post this sooner, but other developments intervened. Two respected online reviewers have started up a site devoted exclusively to reviews of m/m short fiction (20k words and less, I believe; correct me if I'm wrong, Tam or Jen). Click here to check out Brief Encounters. These ladies are devoted and astute readers.

My birthday present to myself arrived today -- a PRINT COPY (ahhhhh) of The Markhat Files by Frank Tuttle. I absolutely adore this man's writing. It isn't m/m, but it isn't really m/f either, so I don't have to endure scenes full of those horrible euphemisms for aroused female genitalia and secondary sex organs. And I don't have to endure that vile "c" word preceded by a host of nauseating adjectives like "dripping" and "gushing." (Be still, my stomach!) The book arrived just in time, too, since a whopping, big-ass blizzard possibly packing 12+ inches of snow is predicted for tomorrow.

I also recently revisited Sleight of Hand by Katrina Strauss. Incredible tale, so beautifully woven. Thank goodness I can read it fairly painlessly at my desktop -- one of the attractions, for me, of novella-length work. This is truly a story to get lost in. Richly detailed yet mysterious (and pretty freakin' hot), it just carries me away. I suspect most of you are already familiar with it, but if you aren't, get a copy. Srsly.

Poor Cody and Luna! Our neutered male mutt, the Code Man, was ill and virtually immobile from Sunday through Wednesday. Limpness in one leg, loss of appetite, fever, lethargy. Then, yesterday and today, he suddenly began to perk up. I had a feeling I knew what the problem was, and a brief Internet search all but confirmed my suspicions.

We took Cody and his spayed female sidekick, Luna (a funny-looking terrier mix, also with one blue eye), to the vet today. The diagnosis? Lyme Disease. Even though it's winter in this part of the world and ticks are no longer active, a bite that took place in spring or fall infested Cody's system. The symptoms didn't manifest until now. A blood test on Luna showed that she, too, carried the germ, although she hadn't yet been laid low by it.

Those of you who have canine companions and live in the country, please be aware of this threat. An annual shot can innoculate your pet against Lyme Disease. Cody and Luna are now on a 21-day antibiotic treatment that should cleanse their bodies of the invader. It's horrible to see a sweet animal suffer so, even for a few days.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christine Griffin's FUGLY takes third place!

WOW. What an achievement. Out of scores and scores of GLBT covers, her stunning bit of portraiture came in third! (Click on the post title to see the entire top ten.)

I must say, Mel Odom's cover for The Lost Library was one of the other two I voted for in the final round. It's mesmerizing. And goddess Anne Cain was all over that top ten! I'm so glad some of the people who make us authors look good are getting their due.

TOMORROW I'll be at Dawn's Reading Nook (that's the Dawn Roberto who runs the Love Romances Cafe loop).

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It's alive!

No, that's not right. That's what Victor Frankenstein cried after his monster, played by Boris Karloff, was vivified by lightning.

What I mean is, it's live! Click on ye olde poste title. (And look beneath the picture for more news.)

Plus, there's this.

Friday, December 03, 2010

FUGLY cover made into the finals!

Looks like Christine Griffin's talent got her into the final fifteen of Elisa Rolle's Rainbow Awards cover art competition. You're allowed three votes in this round -- and, damn, it was tough choosing!

I know some of you won't want to vote for Christine's cover; just letting y'all know about the finals, and how proud I am to have had my work represented by such a stunning piece of original art.

And what's this, you ask? Well, it's a flower symbolic of a certain high-profile football game. In the US, that is. Something else near and dear to my heart made it into the "finals," so to speak. (Yes, I can be that shallow. *g*)