Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Whole Bunch of Random Things

And not necessarily Halloween.

I missed the Tuesday Tickle. And I’m so tired tonight, I think I’ll just let it go for this week. Writing production has been at a near standstill for the last three months and I don’t want to over-expose anything. At least, not until there’s a chance it’ll be coming out in the near future.

That being said, I have two releases coming in December. One is a Christmas novella from Loose Id, with my two geeky lovers, Shawn and Rob. The other is a short story I donated to a charity anthology, in support of the writer’s forum at Absolute Write.

The charity antho, with the theme of Underground (in all the meanings of the word) is a way for some of us who hang out there a lot to help out with the costs of keeping the forum going. We tossed the idea around last summer, got some editors to volunteer their time and we’re about ready to ‘go to press’ with the book. Right now, there’s a cover contest going on–check out the forum for when you can vote for your favourite cover. I’ll put a note up here.

The Loose Id story comes out December 3, which has me freaking out, since it was only accepted a week and a bit ago. I thought the production schedule for BMT was fast–this is two weeks shorter. Which means a lot of work over the next four weeks, and no playing around in other stories. I expect to have the first set of edits back to me this weekend. But the boys are adorable and Shawn is such majorly excellent boyfriend material, I’m thinking about having Rob shanghaied and throwing myself at Shawn. Not that he’d pick me up, dammit, but a girl can try, right?

Which makes me lol, because my writing group just had the weirdest conversation about haircolours and complexions that we like on our men (and our women). Are gingers really that unloved? Because I like a man with dark red hair. Or red-gold, though that’s harder to find. And Black Irish boys? YUM!

Kimber Vale says she’ll go brunette for me. Really need to get a room together at a con one of these days, just because the stories afterwards would be so awesome.

It’s Halloween, and I’ve had eight kids. That’s likely all I’ll have. I watched Cloverfield and rooted for the monster again. Now I think I’ll have a Mojito and a hot bath with a dirty book and wait for the kitten to get home from trick-or-treating, so I can raid her stash of candy. After all, that’s why you have kids, right? At least, it seemed like a good reason at the time. 😛

Oh, and while I know the squirrel is out and I should stop throwing squirrel pictures at you, here’s one that popped up in my Facebook feed today. (Oh, those Brits! Right, SA Meade?) And thanks for pushing Forgotten Menagerie as far up the ARe charts as it went and for putting it in the Top Five Downloads for four days! For such an odd little book, I was pretty happy with how well it did. And people seem to like Nathan, which is awesome, because I like him too.

So here’s your Halloween squirrel. I swear, I have to do something like this to Nathan…
1401314_692025567485124_447848843_o

The Rise of the Audiobook

I used to listen to audiobooks, sometimes, about 15 years ago. They were great for driving, or doing one of those household chores that takes lots of time but not much brain. My problem with them was–the readers weren’t good.

Seriously.

I eventually stopped listening to them, because the good ones were so rare I couldn’t justify the expense. I’ve recently started again, because my job has been moved to a town slightly more than an hour’s drive away, and I hate the morning radio around here. Sometimes I listen to music, but I’ve rediscovered audiobooks as well.

And, boy, have they changed!

OldmanswaraudiobookI’ve just finished listening to the first four of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War novels. I liked both readers–they were unobtrusive, stayed in character and kept me entertained all the way to work. As a side bonus, I’ve found that the audiobooks keep me more focused during the drive. When I listen to music, I have a tendency to drift away and start plotting stories.

Not something you want happening when driving at 60 mph on a windy road with loads of traffic coming in the other direction.

FatalShadowsAudiobookThe truly cheering part is that there are audiobooks available in my genre, MM erotic romance. I listened to Cut & Run at the beginning of October, and have the second one queued up to listen to next. It’s a great way to keep on top of what’s going on in my genre, even though my reading time is now severely curtailed by this humongous drive. I think I might try Adrien English next, because he’s an old favourite, unless I’m feeling kind of grimdark, in which case, I will listen to Joe Abercrombie (who is not, by the way, MM romance, but gritty fantasy. I’m an equal opportunity kind of girl). But it’s good to see our books getting this treatment. Not only is it another way people in the same situation as me can enjoy the stories without having to lose sleep to do it, but it’s another revenue stream for authors if it takes off and a step towards being treated with the same respect that authors in other genres already enjoy.

thebladeitselfaudiobookI have to admit, though–I’m still kind of scarred by my history with audiobooks. Are they all as good as the ones I’ve already listened to? Any I should stay away from? A reader that can always be counted on? I’m thinking of getting an Audible subscription, but like anyone out there, I don’t want to waste my credits. (PS. I’ve added links to the pictures, if you want to check out the stories, or Audible,  yourself.)

Okay, enough dilly-dallying and procrastinating–back to the Christmas story.

Evening

Looks like my kind of sleepover.

Tuesday Guest Tickle: Shoes & Ties is Now Available!

Like a little heat in your kitchen? Bring this book with you. A young, passionate chef and a high-powered business executive–a recipe for spice and excitement!

Blurb:

Ashten Brody is a chef fresh out of college. He lands his dream job working as a personal chef to Trent Cole, local luxury hotel owner. As it turns out, Trent is also his dream man.

After working together, the two are unable to deny their attraction. One late night they can’t hold back any longer. Too bad Ashten rushes off soon after.

In the weeks that follow, it appears to Ashten that he has landed his dream man and his dream job. He and Trent appear to be on the path to a serious relationship and life-long happiness. Life seems to be just too perfect…

Links:
Jena Wade’s website
Loose-Id
Amazon

I notice there’s a giveaway for a copy of the book going on…
Giveaway at Kay Berrisford’s Blog

Excerpt:

Ashten Brody smoothed his hands down the front of his suit one more time. He hadn’t expected Trent Cole’s security guards to frisk him at the door. The man ran a luxury hotel in North Carolina. It wasn’t like he was a celebrity. Though he had the appearance of one.

As flustered as he was now, Ashten was confident that he was the right person to be Trent’s new personal chef. He was not confident, however, that Mr. Cole would hire him. He’d only just finished his degree in culinary arts and hospitality management. He was young and green, but he wanted this job and would do anything to get it. Well, that was a slight exaggeration, but he would wear a bland, conservative suit complete with a tie and jacket if it helped him beat out the competition.

The elevator pinged, and he took a deep breath as he stepped out, still in awe that he had gotten an interview. The main office was located on the top floor of the ten-story hotel—convenient if Trent ever worked late and needed to crash at the office.

Finding the secretary easily, Ashten stood next to her desk and patiently waited for her to finish her phone call. The lobby area was comfortable, with decor that matched the rest of the hotel. Doors lined the walls, and a few windows revealed the insides of conference rooms and small offices. Ashten rested his hands on the mahogany horseshoe desk. It was large enough to fill his old apartment.

“May I help you?” Annette, as her nameplate said, asked as she hung up the phone.

“I have an interview scheduled with Mr. Cole. I’m a bit early. My name is Ashten Brody.” His voice sounded calmer than he felt. It was important to make a good impression on the secretary, though; they were the ones who ran the whole office.
The secretary raised her brow. She opened her mouth to speak, but the elevator at the opposite end of the room dinged, and Mr. Cole stepped onto the floor, a deep scowl etched on his handsome face. Ashten’s breath hitched in his throat. He bit his lip, pain stopping any reaction his cock might have had to the man capturing his attention. The pictures he’d found in his Internet search hadn’t done the man justice. Trent Cole oozed confidence. Ashten’s eyes followed him as he crossed the floor. A touch of afternoon stubble shaded his strong jaw, and his tailored suit outlined his broad shoulders perfectly. The open jacket revealed lean hips, which brought Ashten’s tongue out to wet his lips. Trent walked directly past the desk, not bothering to glance at Ashten or Annette. Everyone in the office moved faster and looked busier now that the boss was in the room.

“Annette, please send in the applicants as they arrive. The sooner I get these interviews over with, the sooner I can get back to real work. Thanks.” Without waiting for a reply, he stepped inside his office, leaving the door wide open.

Ashten’s face heated, and his heart pounded. He rolled his shoulders back to try to get ahold of himself.

“Go right in, dear. Good luck.” Annette gave him an encouraging grin.

Ashten flashed a broad smile. “Thank you, ma’am.” He turned and walked toward the open door.

* * * *

Trent rubbed his tired and aching eyes before he reviewed the résumé of the first applicant. “Ashten Brody?” He looked up to see an attractive young man enter the room.

He must not have hidden his surprise well, because alarm flashed across the applicant’s face.

The Ashten Brody approaching his desk was far too young to have obtained two degrees from the University of Chicago.

And far too attractive to work near me every day.

“Yes. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Cole.” Ashten reached his hand out to shake Trent’s.

Trent stared at Ashten, hesitating too long. The raw sex appeal of the man standing before him dulled Trent’s reflexes. His piercing emerald eyes matched his tie, and the suit framed his lean shoulders and hips. Trent eyed the man up and down, unable to stop himself. Ashten dropped his hand to his side, and an awkward tension filled the room. Trent hadn’t even bothered to stand up to greet Ashten.

When he finally regained his composure, he said, “Please sit down. How old are you?” He narrowed his eyes at the younger man, hoping for a truthful response to the question he already knew the answer to.

“Mr. Cole, age is hardly an indication of ability. My résumé shows my capabilities.” Ashten spoke with ease, voice holding steady. “And if I’m not mistaken, you were quite young when you started managing the hotel.”

The man was bold, certainly confident. Confidence could be faked, especially when it came wrapped in such a lovely, tight package. “Résumés can be padded.”

“Considering the amount of paperwork I filled out for your company to run a background check, you should know that my résumé doesn’t lie.”

Trent crossed his arms and studied Ashten, watching for any change in his expression. “I have a hard time believing a man as young as you appear has already received two degrees and has the necessary experience to do this job.”

A blush crept up Ashten’s neck, and he shifted in his seat.
“Maybe I just look good for my age?” He settled back in his chair, hands folded in his lap as he smiled knowingly. “You have the background check. You tell me how old I am.”

“Your age wasn’t what I was looking for in the background check, Mr. Brody,” Trent said.

“Please, call me Ashten.”

“Ashten, I’m a busy man. As the owner of this hotel, I’m very involved in its day-to-day operations. I work long hours and will require you to do the same. Not only will you be my personal chef, providing me with breakfast and dinner each day, but you may be required to bring me lunch or even cater my business meetings. There are times when I’ll need you to work with the kitchen staff to prepare for a large conference. This will be a demanding job. I will not have time for—nor will I tolerate—complaints. I need an adult to do this job, not a kid fresh out of college, still wanting to party more than work.”
Ashten chuckled and shook his head. The deep rumble almost brought a smile out of Trent, despite his attempt to maintain his professionalism.

“Mr. Cole, I don’t complain, and I know a little something about hard work. Despite my age, I’m perfectly capable of doing this job and doing it well. I can handle whatever you throw at me.” Ashten ran his fingers through his golden hair—the movement was mesmerizing.

It was all Trent could do to stop himself from reaching out to comb his own fingers through the yellow locks. Clearing his throat, Trent rested his elbows on the table and steepled his fingers against his lips. He didn’t trust himself not to open his mouth and tell the boy exactly what he’d like to see him handle. His libido sure picked a hell of a time to return. Last time he’d been interested in another man… He couldn’t remember. Fuck. Must’ve been quite a while.
Ashten stared back at him in that uncomfortable moment of silence, no doubt thinking he’d said something to warrant it.

Trent let him suffer.

Ashten continued, “And excuse me for finding humor in the situation, but I can assure you that clubs aren’t for me.”

Trent believed that Ashten believed he was capable, but that didn’t mean he was. Though a healthy amount of self-assurance went a long way, it didn’t make up for lack of experience. Trent had no reason to trust what Ashten said, other than a gut feeling. He almost wanted to give him the job based on his gumption alone. Ashten Brody piqued his interest in more ways than one.

“I think that I’ve learned all I can about you. I’ll have my secretary call you with my final decision by the end of today.”

Trent stood and extended his hand.

Ashten’s shoulders slumped, though he straightened them quickly.

“Thank you for your time.”

Trent pushed the speaker button on his phone. “Send the next applicant in, Annette. Thank you.”

With a nod, Ashten walked out of Trent’s office.

He had a long afternoon of interviews scheduled, but he was sure his decision had already been made.

Release the Kraken…uh, Squirrel…

Forgotten Menagerie comes out tomorrow. I’ve already teased you about Nathan’s squirrelly goodness, but did you know that Angelia Sparrow, Alex Whitehall, Cari Z and Avery Vanderlyle also have stories in the anthology?

I know, I’m a nag. Here, have a squirrel:

603837_541733432538505_433379652_n Nathan watching Vince through the window

Squirrel Girl is here!

Nathan is not pleased about waiting. We all saw his wrathful countenance yesterday. Well, it seems he’s taking his revenge one step further.

He’s enlisted Squirrel Girl, the new Marvel superhero.

And you can get her character for free, if you want to save your gold or Eternity Splinters, and go to the ingame webstore. Can’t wait? You can buy her with real money, too.

She comes with an Amelia Earhart-style aviator costume!

Unleash the Squirrelpocalypse! *collapses laughing*

There’s still time to pre-order Forgotten Menagerie for 20% off. A glitch at the publisher has delayed release until Tuesday, so if you were on the fence, you’ve still got a few days to decide. Check out the excerpt at Book Reviews and More by Kathy. The giveaway is done, but the post is forever…

The Squirrel has been Delayed

Due to some snafu in the process, it will likely be Tuesday before I’ll have my author copies to send out. But I will send them out, for certain!

In the meantime, have another ridiculous squirrel picture…

Funny-squirrel

Yeah, right, Nathan.