Monday, January 19, 2015

Take the Long Way Home is Here!

Woot! Take the Long Way Home is now available from Loose Id, and should become available from other distributors shortly. I'm going to be visiting some blogs in the next few days to talk about vegan myths, psychologically troubled MCs, what my sister's dollhouse taught me about my sexual orientation, and more. I'll be giving away a backlist title at each stop, so if you're interested, here's where I'll be:

Jan 19th:
Boys in Our Books - Excerpt
Boy Meets Boy - Excerpt + vegan mythbusters.
Jan 20th:
The Novel Approach - All the stuff I steal from my family and use in writing and only feel a little bad about.
Sinfully Sexy Reviews - I wanna know your favorite songs!
Joyfully Jay - Writing characters who are works in progress.
Jan 21st:
Prism Book Alliance - The Dollhouse Memoirs: Diary of an Amateur Filmmaker. 
Jan 22nd:
On Top Down Under - Interviewed by Kazza.
Jan 28th AND 30th:
Cup O' Porn - Wednesday Whine & Wine and a Friday Free-for-All Giveaway!

Update: You can buy TTLWH from Amazon and ARe now as well.



Dresden Marich has failed out of high school three months shy of graduation. He’s infatuated with his online friend, Evan, alienated from his family and former classmates, and still trying to recover from his father’s death six years ago. He’s also keeping a troubling secret about his older brother, Gunner, who is away at boot camp.


Then Dresden meets Caleb, a judgmental environmentalist who’s hardly Dresden’s fantasy come true. But Caleb seems to understand Dresden’s desire for rough sex, big feelings, and, ultimately, safety. As Dresden becomes embroiled in a farmers market drama involving Caleb, a couple of bullying tomato enthusiasts, and a gang of vigilante vegans, he discovers he might be willing to trade a fantasy relationship with Evan for a shot at something real with Caleb.


But Dresden fears telling quick-to-judge Caleb his secret, and the news that Gunner is coming home sends him fleeing to California for a chance to meet Evan in person and hopefully fall in love. When the encounter doesn’t go as expected, Dresden faces a choice: stay in California and carve out a new life, or take the long road home to his family, Caleb, and a past he must face if he has any hope for a future.

Major thanks to my editor Katriena, Dar Albert for the cover, Lisa Henry and my mom for beta-ing, my friend Brian, to whom this book is dedicated, and with whom I learned a lot of stuff about growing up--*orchestra starts to play me offstage, but I'm still talking*--and to all of you readers out there, even if you don't read this book. I'm just so happy there are people in the world who love books. That is all.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Happy New Year! (Late as Usual)

Hope you all had excellent holidays! Mine were pretty awesome. I went to West Virginia for Christmas, where I continued one of my favorite traditions: secretly collecting rude quotes from my mother. 

Since you don't know her, I should explain. In almost all areas of life, she is an exceptionally kind, generous human being. In fact, she visited this very blog a couple of years ago and proved that she can turn even naughty things nice. Which makes it all the funnier when, during the holidays, she suddenly develops the mouth of a sailor. She doesn’t hate Christmas, exactly—she loves spending time with her family—but, um, she’s not a big fan of all the hullaballoo surrounding it. Still, any coarse things she says at Christmas are said in jest.

We think.

Here were some of this year’s gems:

When I forgot to get shallots at the grocery store, and then later offered to sing her a Christmas carol to make up for it:
 “I have a song. It’s called someone forgot my fucking shallots.”
           
In the Walmart parking lot, when a car stopped in front of ours to let some people out:           
“They need to get that piece of shit [car] out of the way. Oh my god, the entire fucking Duck Dynasty is getting out.”

Instructing me not to let the pecan pie burn:
“Ruin my pie and I will ruin you.”

On the Christmas concert she had to sit through at the school where she teaches:
“It wasn’t so bad, because I had some Sudoku.”

“The only actual Christmas carol they sang was ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside.’ Which is basically about date rape.”

Beautiful stuff.

I was back in Chicago by New Year’s, where my roommate Chris announced that his resolution was to make up a song every day of 2015 and record it. So far I’ve been treated to such canonical melodies as “The Missing Roommate Blues” and “What’s Kate Winslet Doing These Days?” If I’m soon found dead in the apartment with claw marks on my walls and an open diary outlining my rapid descent into madness…you’ll know why.

He’s also started doing this thing where he pretends that I went missing eight years ago, and that I’m not me but rather a detective assigned to investigate his roommate's disappearance. It’s all very meta, and sometimes genuinely unnerving to be referred to as “detective” for hours on end. Chris is a professional improv performer, so I’m a bit concerned about how indefinitely he might keep this up.

So yes, 2015 is shaping up to be just as weird and wonderful as 2014. And I want to say, very sincerely, that 2014 was one of my favorite years ever. Thank you so much to everyone who helped make it that way. To anyone who read my books and made me feel like a Real Writer Person, or who wrote books that I loved, or recommended great books to me, or helped me with books I was writing, or let me help with books you were writing, or otherwise interacted with me… I’m very grateful, and I’m looking forward to the New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Playing the Fool #1: The Two Gentlemen of Altona


THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA (Playing the Fool #1) is here! Lisa and I had a blast writing this series. It's a bit different from our usual fare--very little angst, and, at least in Book 1, very little sex. But it's fun, we hope. We've got a big blog tour, and you have a chance to win a $20 Riptide voucher, a book from either of our backlists, and the contents of Henry Page's duffel bag (some Shakespeare and a ton of candy!) Here's a list of tour stops:

December 29, 2014 The Blogger Girls
December 29, 2014 On Top Down Under Book Reviews - Spotlight
December 29, 2014 Prism Book Alliance
December 29, 2014 Sinfully Sexy Books
December 30, 2014 Joyfully Jay
December 30, 2014 La Crimson Femme
December 30, 2014 KT Book Reviews - Review Stop
December 30, 2014 Cup O' Porn - Spotlight
December 31, 2014 The Novel Approach
December 31, 2014 The Jeep Diva
December 31, 2014 MM Good Book Reviews - Spotlight Stop
December 31, 2014 Smoocher's Voice
January 1, 2015 Book Reviews and More by Kathy
January 1, 2015 Things I Find While Shelving – Spotlight Stop
January 1, 2015 Creative Deeds
January 2, 2015 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words - Spotlight Stop
January 2, 2015 TTC Books and More – Spotlight Stop
January 2, 2015 Love Bytes
January 2, 2015 Crystal's Many Reviewers

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Adventures in Poopland: An (Almost) Holiday Tale

As some of you know, I walk dogs part time. It’s a fun job, but around this time of year, it gets a little crazy. Holiday stress, guests coming and going, and tasty baked goods lying around mean a lot of dogs end up in some kind of mischief. I’ve gotten several apologetic notes from owners lately explaining that their dog ate an entire tray of muffins last night, or a sweater, or peed on the presents, or chewed the heads off the yard elves.

But so far, my actual time with the dogs each day has been stress free.

Today should have been so easy. It was my last day before the holidays; there were only three dogs on my schedule. I could have knocked that out in an hour and a half and been home and packing for my travels by lunchtime.

But there were…complications.

It started with the puppy who doesn’t poop on his walks. He waits until we’re back at his house and then wants to be let out to #2 in the yard. No problem. Except the ground's been frosty lately, and today it was warm, which meant the back yard was quite soggy. And as I crossed the yard to pick up the poo Puppy had just done, I stepped in a very large, very wet pile of older poo. In my effort to do damage control, I stepped in the new pile with my other foot.

There was nothing to be done for it. Wiping my shoes on the grass just got mud caked on too. There weren’t enough sticks in the yard to sufficiently scrape all that needed to be scraped. Puppy, meanwhile, was delighted, tearing around the yard and kicking up clods of muck. And I was rapidly running out of time before I needed to be at the next dog’s house.

So I took my shoes off, deciding the first order of business was to contain Puppy, who by this time was shooting through the house, tracking mud I had tried--apparently without much success--to wipe from his paws.

When I finally got him kenneled, I carried my shoes in and had at them with paper towels. But there wasn’t enough time, so I had to put them on and head to the next house and try to ignore the smell.

Dog #2’s dad was home. I asked the dad if he still wanted me to walk the dog. He said sure. And actually, it was nice, because I could just stand in the entryway and have him hand the dog off to me, so I didn’t have to come into his house with my poop covered shoes.

Two minutes into the walk, Dog #2 went #2, and I realized I didn’t have a baggie on me. We were close to my car and I usually have extras in there, so we went to the car and found a bag. Bagged the poo, threw it away, and moved on. Fifteen minutes later, the dog took another, massive shit. Once again, no bag. But as I rummaged in my coat pockets, I found one. A Christmas miracle. I started to pick up the poo and noticed it felt warmer than usual.

This, it turned out, was because the bag had a giant tear in in, and was only covering half of my hand. The rest of my hand was in the dog poop.

So now I had crap on both shoes and on one hand. I managed to wipe most of the hand poo onto the plastic bag, and threw the whole mess away. I took the dog back home. The dad was still there, and--I don't know what happened. I got embarrassed. I didn't want to stand in his entryway with feces on my hand and shoes and ask to use his sink. The next dog’s house was just around the corner, and I figured I could wash off there in privacy.

So I handed Dog #2 back to his dad (with my clean hand), wished him happy holidays, and hurried around the corner to Dog #3.

Dog #3 was overjoyed. He sniffed my hand, my pants cuffs, my shoes… Oh. Oh you smell so good. Why can’t you smell like this everyday?

I don’t know, Dog #3. Maybe because if I smelled like this every day, life would cease to be worth living. But thanks for the moral support.

I washed my hands. Over and over again. Then I took Dog #3 on his walk. We enjoyed the beautiful day. At one point, he was sniffing in a neighbor’s yard, and I noticed a pile of some other dog’s poop that hadn’t been cleaned up. So I started guiding Dog #3 carefully around the pile. Just to be safe. I mean, I didn’t really think I would have to tell the very docile, very intelligent Dog #3 not to walk though the…

He stepped right in it. Right in it.

So now, to recap, there was poop on both of my shoes, and on the dog’s left front foot. We headed back to the house. I could leave my shoes out by the front door, but we couldn’t leave the dog’s foot outside, so I was going to have to wipe him off. His owners provide a towel in the front hall for paw wiping when it’s muddy out, but I couldn’t very well wipe shit all over their towel and then hang it up next to their coats to fester for the next five hours.

The only other option was to use the emergency towel in my car. Long story short, that’s what I did. But not before I made up a little song to describe the dilemma, and sang it for Dog #3. It went like this:

I’m a good person,
And I don’t understand
Why there’s poop on everything—
My feet and my hand.

And now there’s poop on you;
I’ll have to wipe it off.
But I don’t know what to use
So…fuck!

If I use the provided towel,
It will smell real bad
But if I use my own towel
I’ll be very sad.

Because then I’ll have to wash it
In a machine full of my clothes
Because laundry’s too expensive
To do a separate load (for one fucking poop towel).

I try to live my life well;
I try to do things right.
So why the #%$ is there #&$#ing @#%^ all over everything?
I never want to see dog%&^% again. How the *#$@ was this day such a massive ^$#@storm?

Dog #3 was very patient. He listened to the whole song, and then he gave me kisses. So, you know… good thing they’re so cute, is what I’m sayin’. I wouldn’t endure all this shit for just anyone.

Merry Christmas to all my pups.

And to all of you, however and wherever you’re celebrating. Hope you have wonderful holidays, free of ordure.

And for the record, I did do a separate load of laundry for the poop towel.

Monday, December 15, 2014

FALL ON YOUR KNEES Blog Tour - Your chance to win!

The Loose Id RATED XXXMAS anthology is releasing tonight, and that means Lisa Henry and I are about to take off on our magical smut sleigh to tour the internet and give away prizes. Our kinky menage novella, FALL ON YOUR KNEES, is part of the anthology, and our characters make some slightly nonconformist choices about what to do with gingerbread cookies and toy train sets.

So in honor of all the holiday traditions we've attempted to link forever in your minds with filth, we have the following prizes to offer.

ONE commenter from all of our combined tour stops will win the GRAND PRIZE. Which includes:

1. A DIY gingerbread train set! Just assemble and decorate according to the instructions on the box.
2. A paperback copy of Lisa's and my Christmas novel from last year, THE BOY WHO BELONGED. This book is #2 in THE BOY series, features lots of kink, and also includes THE NAUGHTY BOY, our short story from the series.
3. An e-copy of the RATED XXXMAS anthology, which, in addition to FALL ON YOUR KNEES, contains an awesome novella by E.F. Mulder called SHEPHERD, WISE MAN, AND THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY.





TWO additional commenters from the combined tour posts will win e-copies of the anthology. All you have to do is leave your contact info on your comment on any and all of the tour posts. And here are the stops:

December 16 - Joyfully Jay
December 16 - Love Bytes
December 18 - The Novel Approach
December 20 - Prism Book Alliance


Merry Kinkmas!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cover Art: RATED XXXMAS

Hi all! Hope those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a happy one. I've enjoyed a few days checking in on my beloved West Virginia. Still wild, still wonderful. Still contains a preponderance of squirrel gravy.

A couple of quick updates:

Cover art for Loose Id's RATED XXXMAS anthology is here! This collection will release December 16th and features Lisa Henry's and my 30k BDSM menage novella FALL ON YOUR KNEES.



Spanking, check; enemas, check; orgasm denial, check. Plus a couple of surprises involving pervertables. And if you'd like to read an excerpt from FoYK, why not...

Sign up for my joint newsletter with Lisa, This Rebus Does Not Work. You'll get info on our upcoming Henrock releases, excerpts, recipes, and chances to win prizes! In December's letter, Lisa dishes on her Sterek addiction, and I share an old family recipe for gingerbread...for no particular reason. *whistles innocently.*

In WIPland I'm stressing over finishing THE GRAND BALLAST, which does not want to behave itself, and preparing for the release of the PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy with Lisa--you can check out an early review for THE MERCHANT OF DEATH (Book #2) in Kirkus Reviews--and working on a number of gloriously fun coauthored projects.

And in personal affairs, my roommates and I have finally earned enough green stamps from our local grocery store to claim our dream prize: a pan with a spout that will render our colander unnecessary. The quest for the "pour pan" has been an epic one (for every $10 we spend at the store, we get a stamp, and once we collect enough stamps we're eligible for "free" cookware), culminating when I earned the final 8 stamps we needed then promptly lost them. The roommates gave me 24 hours to find them before unspecified "consequences" would be unleashed. The search that ensued was worthy of anything Jack Bauer underwent on 24. But I found the stamps, and when I return to Chicago on Monday, we're going to get our free pan! And by "free" I mean we had to spend $1250 at Jewel-Osco. Still. Basically free.

Enjoy the T-give leftovers!

Monday, November 10, 2014

All the Release Dates. Also, I'm Going to Watch Star Wars.

Exciting things are afoot! Lisa Henry and I are deeply immersed in book 3 of THE BOY series. We have not one, but TWO releases next month! I’m apparently going to watch STAR WARS for the first time this weekend, or else Lisa will mock me into oblivion. (Hey, I've seen clips of it. And it just looks like a bunch of guys running around with 70s hair and laser guns. But I'm told this deficiency in my pop cultural savvy is unforgivable.)

So, let’s start with upcoming releases:

December 16: Loose Id’s Rated XXX-Mas Anthology comes out. Lisa and I have a very kinky story in there called FALL ON YOUR KNEES. The unofficial blurb goes like this:

Asa and his longtime partner, Javier, are looking forward to a cozy, kinky Christmas together. But when Asa discovers his coworker Drew has nowhere to go for the holidays, he invites Drew home for dinner. His motives aren’t entirely pure: Asa and Javier are both dominant, and occasionally arrange one night stands with submissives. Asa’s been hot for Drew for months, even though he has no proof Drew is kinky.

Drew has wanted Asa since the day they met. Drew would never come between Asa and his partner, but that doesn’t stop him from fantasizing about Asa doing filthy, painful, incredible things to him. He accepts Asa’s dinner invitation reluctantly, not eager to witness Asa and Javier’s domestic bliss firsthand.

When Javier discovers Drew’s profile on a BDSM site shortly before Drew’s arrival, the game changes. A bold proposition leads to Asa and Jav sharing a night of play and passion with a dinner guest who’s nowhere near as innocent as he looks. But as their not-so-silent night progresses, they find themselves on shaky ground. Can they keep this arrangement no strings attached? Or is there a way for each man to get what he really wants for Christmas?

Note: Blurbs for the following books can be found on my Coming Soon page, to avoid an overly-blurby post.

December 29th: THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF ALTONA, book 1 in the PLAYING THE FOOL trilogy, comes out! It’s available for preorder now at Riptide, Amazon, and ARe. Preordering from Riptide gets you a discount, and you receive the book a couple of days early. You can find all the pre-order links, plus links to some early reviews here.

January 20th: TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME. My first solo book in a while, TTLWH continues my exploration of the world of vanilla sex. There’s a tiny bit of kink in this one, but the book is more of a self-discovery/coming of age tale. Still plenty of sex, though. I promise.

February 2nd: THE MERCHANT OF DEATH, book 2 in the PtF trilogy.

March 9th: Book 3!

Sometime in the winter/spring: another solo book, THE GRAND BALLAST. I have no idea what genre to put this in. Let’s call it speculative suspense, for now. It takes place in the future, but the futuristic aspect is minimal. There is a love story, but it’s not necessarily at the forefront. As with ANOTHER MAN’S TREASURE, the wrap up is not tidy, and there is some violence. But if you go with me to the dark side, there will be a return to lightness in 2016, because…

I’ve signed a contract with Riptide for a four-book series called THE SUBS CLUB! It’s mostly fun, with a little angst (of course). And a fuckton of kinky sex. It’s about a group of subs who form a…well, club, in order to ferret out bad doms in their local BDSM community.

And one last thing--seriously the last--Lisa and I will be at The Novel Approach on the 13th talking about BRANDON MILLS VERSUS THE V-CARD. We're doing a giveaway, and we'd love for you to stop by!