Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Way Things Are is Available for Pre-Order!

It's almost here! It's almost here! The Way Things Are is on the Dreamspinner Press Coming Soon page!!! It's available for pre-order now, and scheduled to be released on January 30th!



A night of drunken confusion at nineteen resulted in Patrick Connelly fathering a child. Determined to be there for his son, Patrick walked away from a sport he loved and forever hid his sexuality. After Patrick's brutal divorce and a vicious hate crime, his son, Jay, has become obsessed with graffiti. Hoping for a fresh start, Patrick moves Jay to his childhood home in Seattle. Within two weeks, Jay is arrested again. On his way to pick Jay up, Patrick stops an assault, then finds himself in handcuffs too. Thinking things can’t get any worse, he’s confronted by the sexiest man he’s ever seen—his son’s new probation officer, Ken Atkins.

The hardest part of Ken’s job is working with difficult parents, and the undeniably handsome Patrick Connelly is going to be a difficult parent. A chance encounter and steamy hookup with Patrick leave Ken blindsided. As they work together to try to keep Jay on the right path, the passion between them proves impossible to resist. When the assault Patrick prevented comes back to haunt them and Jay gets into trouble again, Ken must convince Patrick that ensuring his son’s happiness doesn’t have to mean sacrificing his own.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sex & Sourdough Won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Gay Contemporary General Fiction!


Holy crap, Sex & Sourdough won a Rainbow Award! I'm thrilled and thankful to Elisa Rolle and all of this years' judges!

I've got to admit, I'm also surprised as hell. I can't say I saw this coming, especially with the caliber of books competing! I'm beyond honored!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Purgatory and Paradise is coming March, 2015!



I just signed a contract with Dreamspinner to publish The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise in March! It will be my 5th novel, and 3rd in the Least Likely Partnership series. It's also a return to some of my darker themes. Take a sneak peak HERE.

The new contract made my day! It definitely helped my I'm-never-going-to-GRL blues. Aside from the whole social wallflower thing, and not really having they money to go, I had to organize the shin-dig below yesterday:



One of my rug-rats has a birthday that seems to fall during GRL every year, and so long as she still lights up about haunted gingerbread house parties, I'm doomed to keep throwing them year in and year out.

I'll just have keep following all the pretty GRL pictures on facebook. :(

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rainbow Awards Finalists!

Wohoo! I am so pleased to announce both of my recent releases, Holding Out for a Fairy Tale and Sex &Sourdough, have made it to the finals of Elisa Rolle’s 2014 Rainbow Awards! So exciting to see my name up there with so many of the authors I geek out over, I am bouncing right now! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Treadmill desk failure: Editing and Synopsis Writing! And a longer excerpt from Book 3 of the Least Likely Partnership Series.

The list of things I can't do while walking on a treadmill includes: writing by hand, making paper airplanes, applying makeup, snacking on messy things, and effective parenting. But editing and synopsis writing are the important epic-fail items on the list.

While The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise has been done for a couple of weeks, every time I tried to use my homemade treadmill desk to edit it, I got horribly distracted by something cute, shiny, yummy looking, or another damn facebook personality quiz.  I found myself wondering if I was always this air headed while sitting at a desk. Then ten seconds later I found myself trying to find a recipe for vegan loaded potato skins I might have all of the ingredients to make. And fifteen seconds later giving up on reading the list of ingredients and, once again, making cupcakes.

Walking while writing tends to let my mind wander, to follow whatever creative path it's inclined to explore (hello tattoo artists story!), and to really push through difficult scenes. Provided my fingers can keep up, it seems to facilitate my desire write whatever the hell comes into my head. But I become absolute shit at detail-oriented tasks requiring analysis and organization. (It also hasn't helped me lose weight but I'm blaming that on the cupcakes.)

So, I stopped being stubborn, moved to the kitchen table, and got the manuscript proofread, summarized, and sent out to DSP. Assuming they like it (HERE'S TO POSITIVE THINKING!!!!) it should be available in May/June of next year! I went ahead and posted a longer, but still rough, excerpt HERE.



My treadmill desk adventure continues, although my body has decided five miles a day is the point at which it wants to start bitching, via shin splints and swelling, about being abused. Sitting all day might be slowly killing us all, but walking all day hurts.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CHATTING WITH GAY ROMANCE AUTHOR JAMIE LAKE!




Today I'm welcoming fellow m/m author Jamie Lake, author of the Boyfriend for Rent and the Marked for Love series, to talk about her newest Bad Boy release!

For those who aren’t familiar with the Bad Boy series, tell us about it? It’s the story of a really hot teacher who becomes desperate for money when his hours are cut and the only choice he has is to moonlight as an erotic masseuse for men. The problem is, he has to keep his profession a secret from the school and it’s right when he meets the guy of his dreams, who happens to be not only one of his student’s dads but also a cop.

You have about 4 different series running right now, how do you juggle all the storylines? It’s not easy. But I try to focus on just one series at a time. I put my whole heart, soul, tears into each novel I write and I try to focus on just that novel. It’s like trying to date more than one person at a time, it can be done but it’s real hard. Believe me, before I met my partner, I tried. If you really want to have a great novel or relationship, you really have to put your everything into that one. That’s what I believe, anyway.

When you come up with an idea to write a novel or a series, how do you go from idea to completed book? Well, lately I take something that’s happened to me or someone I know and sort ask myself what if ….? And I think to myself, what would make this situation even more intense or more emotional for my readers. Then I write a loose outline and start writing. When I say outline, it’s usually just a few sentences about what I think each chapter will be about and I write, typos and all. I don’t look back while I write. That’s why when I do read the entire thing, I think “wow! Did I write that?” then it’s off to my editor or co-writer depending on the story to fill in the details. I love storytelling but other people are much better at prose than I am, so I let them do their job. Then I read the whole thing from beginning to end, making it better along the way and it’s off to the copyeditor and my beta-readers. It’s a system that seems to have worked for me so far.

People have a lot of choices for m/m, at last count, I saw there were something like 25,000 m/m titles out there from years past, what makes this Bad Boy series so different? Well, that’s the thing there are thousands of titles available but there are at least a million or so m/m readers out there and new readers are born every day. There more than enough readers to around for everyone. That’s why I like supporting other m/m authors, we can introduce our readers to each other and each other’s books.

Your style in Bad Boy is very simple but descriptive. How do you decide what type of style or voice you’re going to use for each story. Well, I think a novel sings to me. A lot of times, I’ll take a real long walk and I’ll almost hear how a certain scene should be written. A statement or a question will pop out and I think to myself, “That’d make a great opening line or beginning of one character’s dialogue.”

What is your greatest dream for the Bad Boy series? Wow. I’d absolutely love it if readers demanded the story continue on past Book 5, if they were emotionally invested in the characters. I’d love to write a parallel series of Chip and his son and his life and what happened before he met Peter. If readers want that, I’ll do exactly that.

Where can we get a copy of Bad Boy? You can get it exclusively on Amazon or email me at JamieLakeNovels AT gmail.

Thank you, Jamie, for sharing a bit about the series with us! And for the drool-worthy tattoos cover art:)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

DIY Treadmill Desk? Not My Best Plan Ever...

With school just starting here in Monterey, I can't be lazy anymore. No more late mornings, putting off laundry, or making do with popcorn and various snack products for dinner because I want to write just a little more. No more pretending watching the Lord of the Rings with my kids could count as their reading time, either.

When I tried to get back into the normal swing of things, I discovered everything I did wore me out. Getting groceries left me exhausted. Walking to pick up my kids left me dragging my feet. Did I have the energy to write? Hah! I didn't even have the energy to read the words I was typing. Part of my fatigue is just the every day reality of living with an autoimmune disorder, but a bigger part of it is that I've been sitting at a desk, or on a couch, for twelve to fourteen hours a day, every day, for a long time.

Inspired by the occasional human interest piece about how sitting is slowly killing us, I started researching treadmill desks. The first, and most obvious thing I discovered, was they're pricey. REALLY pricey. So, desperate to add exercise into the time I viciously guard as "my writing time" between pre-school drop off and PTA crap, I mutilated a home depot shelf, disassembled my treadmill, and shoved it under my desk.



The result isn't pretty, and frankly, it's too soon to evaluate whether or not it's going to help me reach my daily word count without feeling lethargic. So far, it's done the opposite, but I suspect that can be chalked up to a combination of my own health and me diving right in. It's surprisingly easy to type, plot, and do just about everything while plodding along at 1.5 mph, and I seriously lost track of time. Three hours and I can get my 2k words for the day hammered out.

One of the big draw backs - it's fucking exhausting! I've done four days so far, and only managed about 3 hours each day. The first day I was all enthusiastic and decided I'd walk to get my kids from school, too. I stayed conscious a whole ten minutes past the 4 year old's bed time that first night.

And it hasn't magically made me more eager to sit down and write vs. wander into the kitchen to make some vegan gingerbread cupcakes. I blame that on the treadmill itself. When it still had its arms attached, it was supposed to magically make me more eager to workout than to sit at the computer gawking at Kade Boehme's tumblr updates, and the treadmill did a shitty job of that, too. 

I've got about 20K words left to finish Purgatory & Paradise, which I'm hoping to have done and submitted by mid-September, and I thought I'd chronicle my progress with this DIY walking-while-writing project here. It'll be interesting to see how this goes. Painful, but interesting. 

So long as there are cupcakes and porn in the world, I'll carry on.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Interview, Audiobook Giveaway, and a New Contract!

Today I'm over at Jame Lake Novels! Awesome timing for an interview, because I just got codes for promo copies of A Casual Weekend Thing on Audible. She's hosting a giveaway to go along with the interview! To enter to win a copy, head over and leave a comment! The contest will be open for 1 week, closing on Wednesday 7/23/14! 


Also, The Way Things Are is officially under contract! Look for it from Dreamspinner Press in January, 2015! The pic below is pretty damn close to what my own imagination conjured when writing my main character, Patrick Connelly.

WARNING: Possibly NSFW, although a hell of a lot safer than everything else on tumblr. 
*sigh* I like tumblr :)




Monday, June 30, 2014

Teaser of The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise

When Holding Out for a Fairy Tale released last month, I promised I'd post a teaser for the 3rd book in the Least Likely Partnerships series, and here it is!

From The Intersection of Purgatory and Paradise

The rock came out of nowhere. It smacked Christopher in the back of the head with a crack that echoed around the street. He stumbled forward, dragging his feet to a stop as his vision went black. He braced his hands on his knees as his field of vision filled with splotches of neon light that seemed to flash behind his eyelids.

The screech of tires and laughter from the street behind him cut through the pain. He bit back on the panic that threatened to paralyze him and forced himself to move. He staggered off the sidewalk toward the hedge separating him from the parking lot on his left.

“No one wants fucking perverts like you jogging past our playgrounds!”

Christopher ignored the voice, just added it to the list of evidence he was collecting in his head. He noted the make and model of the vehicle, a new Ford Explorer with dark tinted windows. A young man, obviously still a teen, was standing on the passenger side seat, half of his body through the window. He was holding onto the roof rack of the SUV with one hand. The driver’s side window was down and Christopher could see more kids in the SUV. He didn’t recognize any of them, but he would be able to identify them later if he had to.

He shoved his way through the hedge, desperate to put even the illusion of a barrier between himself and the SUV.

“Hey! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” a high pitched voice shouted from across the parking lot. 

The SUV peeled away and the laughter faded.

 “Chris?” Christopher turned toward Brittney McAllister, the woman his lover had almost married once upon a time, and the current Baker County chief medical examiner. He let her slip under his shoulder and guide him through the parking lot to the Coroner’s Office.

"Hi,” he whispered, delicately reaching toward the back of his head. “Am I bleeding?”

“Yeah. Sit down on the steps, let me take a look.”

Christopher lowered himself on to the concrete and bent forward. Even though getting to know his lover Doug’s ex had been awkward, the angry glares and suspicious looks from the rest of the small town of Elkin left Christopher grateful for any ally he could get.

For a while, he’d really believed that once he’d settled in people would stop comparing him to his brother and warm up to him.

He’d been stupid and naive.

The people of Elkin would never warm up to someone they considered a threat to their children, and he was too closely connected to his brother’s case for them ever to see him as anything else.

Christopher winced as Brittney’s fingernails lifted his too-long hair. She hissed behind him. “Those rotten little bastards. Come on inside, I’ll call Doug.”

Christopher caught her wrist. “No. He’s got enough shit to deal with thanks to me. It’s fine.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm Being Interviewed at LaQuette's Living & Loving the Written Word Today!

June Updates!


Today, yes TODAY, I’m being interviewed over at LaQuette Likes! This is my first author interview, and I’ll be sharing a bit about how I got started writing and I'll be talking a bit about Holding Out for a Fairy tale! Head over to her blog to check it out!



This month I finally finished and submitted The Way Things Are, the story of longshoreman Patrick Connelly and his doomed attempts not to hit on his son’s sexy probation officer, Ken Atkins. There’s a new teaser in the interview here! (And unlike my first crack at novel length fiction—about Patrick’s son Jay and his adventures with spray paint—this one will have the attention of professional editors before it sees the light of day!)


And finally, the third book in the Least likely Partnership series is coming together! With any luck, it will be available in May, 2015! I say with any luck, because it’s summer vacation. There’s something very strange about writing explicit sex scenes or writing about… well, horrible things, with 4+ rowdy kids screaming about video games four feet away.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Audiobooks, New Releases, and Gardening

                                                                 
A Casual Weekend Thing has come out as an audiobook! It’s went on sale at Audible last night! Now I just need to finish re-listening to Rhys Ford’s Sinner’s Gin before I hear it, because jumping from one narrator to another confuses the hell out of my poor brain.

Also, Holding Out for a Fairy Tale releases tomorrow! Dreamspinner is running all kinds of sales this month to celebrate their 7th anniversary! In addition to 15% off every Dreamspinner title at ARe, they’re offering larger discounts and flash sales at the Dreamspinner site throughout the month!

Check out Dreamspinner's ARe sale!



And beyond announcing the release, I’m going to be a coward about the whole promo thing this time around.

Even with the one year anniversary of A Casual Weekend Thing coming up, I still don’t feel like this new role has really sunk in. With more experience with the publishing process, the emotional roller coaster of book releases and reviews, and attending the Dreamspinner Press Writers Workshop in Portland just a couple weeks ago, I am at the point where I either need to start taking this whole writing thing seriously, or stop pretending that it was ever more than a hobby. And to be honest, I’m still on the fence.

Writing is an isolated and depressing process for me. The most commonly repeated bits of advice for writers on the internet is to write a lot, to revise more than one writes, and to have as many sets of eyes as possible read and critique a story before it ever makes its way into the world. With a super-conservative family who treats any mention of homosexuality as a bad joke, a husband who is quietly supportive of my writing so long as it can never, ever be linked back to him, and being more shy than an anxious house cat, that last step has never been possible for me. Which means the first feedback I typically get on a story is from reviews after a story is already released. And the whole process always stops my current writing project cold. I can’t very well just say, “Be gentle, I’m new at this!” because, when something is actually marketed and sold, the expectation of a professional quality product is totally fair.

So rather than spend two months recovering from the emotional ups and down that are sure to follow this new release, I’m going to go hide in my garden for a few weeks and re-hash my current work in progress with a pen and paper. Again. The prequel to Graffiti can’t decide if it wants to be a contemporary romance or a suspense novel, and I’ve written it both ways a couple times. (Damn mental quirk that insists all stories must have a bad guy….) Once I get it settled into one genre or the other, I’ll try to post the first chapter of the 3rd book in Least Likely Partnerships—in which Christopher discovers that running away is a hard habit to break.

My dear husband decided to “help” with my garden beds last year. He second-guessed my vermiculite and fertilizer ratios until he managed to make my garden toxic enough to kill everything I tried to plant. He pointed out that at least this season I won't have to pull any weeds. The real silver lining, though, is having plenty of work to keep me too busy to go anywhere near Goodreads.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Holding Out for a Fairy Tale Cover Art and Blurb

I feel like I’m still in those long, slow weeks of January were everyone is winding down from the holidays, and the entire month of February seems to have come and gone without me really noticing. Suddenly it’s March, and the spin-off of A Casual Weekend Thing is in its final round of edits! I’ve got cover art, blurbs, and all that fun stuff to share.

Here is the official blurb and cover art, once again produced by Dreamspinner Press’s wonderful Brooke Albrecht!

When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business.

Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing persons case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he’s more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello.
After discovering Sophia's disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray.  As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.

 
 
I’ve also posted a longer excerpt on the book’s page HERE if anyone would like to read the first chapter!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Giveaway Winners!

Wow, what a crazy month. I am back to writing mysteries and writing about human smuggling during the holidays is more than a little weird. So weird that I needed to unwind last night (New Years!) and am just now getting this post put together!

So, without further ado, the winners of the four signed paperback copies of Sex & Sourdough are Feliz, Val, vitajex, and Riverhaze! Congratulations!

I've sent emails to each of the winners to follow-up, but if you see your name and haven't gotten that email (yay for spam filters!) go ahead and email me your information at ajthomasromance@gmail.com and I'll get your book on it's way!

If I don't hear back form a winner within 48 hours, I'll try bugging them one more time and then select another winner from the list of comments!




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 ...