Friday, May 31, 2013

Giveaway Winners!

The Contest is Over!


It's is 8:04 PST! The giveaway entry period is officially over! 

Congratulations to our four winners: Penumbra, Zora, zeoanne, and Humsini Murali! I will be sending out emails here shortly, and if any of the winners don't get back to me within 48 hours, I will draw another number from the hat. 

And now I can stop pimping this giveaway on my other stories around the internet and get on with this daily writing thing. 
 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cyclic Violence – Drawing Inspiration from the Darkness




I write about things that bug me. 

Not small annoyances that leave me wishing the world came with a built-in heavy metal soundtrack, but things that are really disturbing. 

Obviously, “A Casual Weekend Thing” is no exception, and since I’ve had a few people contact me to talk about the darker themes of the book, I thought I’d share the inspiration for the story itself.

Years ago, I was sitting in a small lecture hall with thirty law enforcement and corrections officers for a fun (i.e., agonizing) day or workshops and training sessions. Most of the workshops were on communication skills, verbal judo, and defusing big, angry men in bars. The last lecture of the day stuck with me.

The lecturer was a short man in his fifties who was making a valiant effort to keep his comb-over from being obvious. He was heavy set and looked more like a librarian in a sweater vest than someone who should be teaching at a law enforcement academy. He was the assistant director of a women’s shelter, not a law enforcement officer at all, and I wasn’t the only one wondering why a social worker had come to talk to this class about due diligence. (For those who aren’t familiar with the term, due diligence is the duty a law enforcement officer owes to investigate anything and everything, just in case someone might be hurt if they don’t.) 

He began by putting four case files up on a projector screen.

The first was a child and family services case about a twelve year old boy whose teachers reported some concerns about his home life. A caseworker and sheriff’s deputy did a home check. They found that the boy had gotten in trouble a lot for fighting with his sister and had run away a few times, but because his father was a respected member of the community, didn’t think the case warranted any additional investigation.

The second was a seventeen year old boy charged with sexual assault. He was apparently dating a younger girl (twelve, I think) and coerced her into fooling around on the school bus in the morning. Because of the age difference, charges were filed and the boy spent a few months in jail.

The third case was a twenty-four year old man charged with statutory rape after engaging in a relationship with a fourteen year old girl. She defended him, telling the court she had lied to him about her age.

The fourth was a forty-seven year old man who had been sentenced to life in prison for raping several children, between the ages of ten and fifteen.

The point of the lecture was that all four case files were about the same man. If the original deputy had investigated fully (performed due diligence), he would have found that the boy and his sister had been forced to perform in pornographic videos, with each other and with their father, for many years. The point was to remind each of us that if we failed to perform due diligence ourselves, and failed to protect this generation of child abuse victims by being thorough in every single investigation, we would inevitably end up protecting the next generation from this one.

That lecture didn’t sit well with me. I had just had a child of my own, and so criminal cases with child victims weren’t just sickening any more, they were emotionally devastating. I hugged my daughter tight when I got home and got over it, but the story stayed with me. I kept wondering what might have happened to that man if things had been different. Eventually, those thoughts grew into Christopher Hayes, the main character from “A Casual Weekend Thing.” The alternative, in which no one noticed or bothered to help, grew into his brother Peter. Christopher and Peter came to life as an exploration of two paths fate might have cast the young man down—one path in which the cycle of violence was stopped, and one in which it continued without notice and the boy grew up to become a monster himself.

“A Casual Weekend Thing” is as much a story about cyclic violence as it is a story about two men falling in love. As some reviewers have commented, it’s a story that some may find difficult to read. I cast Peter as minor villain, but my hope was that readers might come to see some human qualities in Peter, too. I know it’s not fair or easy, reading about a character that leaves you hating him and mourning the man he might have been at the same time. It’s definitely not the emotional roller coaster most readers expect they’re going to be riding when they pick up an m/m romance. But it is what it is.

There are plenty of less creepy things that bug me on the agenda, so who knows… the next story might even be light and fluffy:)

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Casual Weekend Thing Release Day!




I’m so excited to announce that A Casual Weekend Thing is officially available! It has been released from Dreamspinner Press today!

And I am holding a contest to win one of four signed paperback copies! To enter, leave a comment on the CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT!

It's available directly from the publisher in ebook and paperback, and in ebook form from all of the usual retailers. 

Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.

When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.

As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer….

Buy From Dreamspinner Press

Buy From Amazon

Buy From Barnes & Noble

How lame is it that I want to log on to Amazon and buy a copy of my own book just because it exists?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm Giving Away Four Signed Paperback Copies of A Casual Weekend Thing!


Today I had one of those Why didn't I write a novel I can tell my conservative family and neighbors about? moments—on an international level. All because of giveaways. Giveaways seem to be the thing to do when you jump into publishing for the first time. Blog tours are lots of work and require a lack of shyness, so that was out. I have enough trouble updating this once every couple months. But I finally signed up for a Goodreads account! I thought it might be my giveaway salvation.

I sat there looking at Goodreads giveaways all morning, rehashing warnings about giving m/m erotic stories away to people who a) might be minors, although there's a check box that might, theoretically, prevent minors from entering, or b) might be horrified to receive a book that includes explicit sex between men. (I've watched my dear sister-in-law go through the list and click on absolutely everything without looking at the cover art, much more reading the blurbs, so I know it happens...)

I had this horrible premonition that anyone who won it through such a huge venue probably wouldn't even want to read it. I chickened out.

So I'm giving away four signed paperback copies on here instead! I'm announcing the contest on a couple of m/m oriented groups, and adding notes to my free stories, in hopes that the free copies will go to people who will enjoy them. 

Here's the Official Blurb:

Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.

When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.

As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer….
 

The contest will be open until 8:00 PM PST May 31st, 2013.


Rules:


  1. To enter, leave a comment on THIS post with a valid email address. 
     
  2. By entering, you're stating that you are at least 18 years of age. Seriously, it's illegal to send porn to minors, and I think this book counts. (If it doesn't count as porn, I'll just try harder next time;)

  3. Winners will be selected by the time-honored tradition of assigning every comment a number and drawing four from a Santa hat.

  4. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply and tell me where they would like their copy sent.

Escaping from Dreamspinner Press’s Downward Spiral

This sucks. I hate having to post this, but it’s time. Like so many Dreamspinner Press authors, I haven’t been paid royalties owed to me ...