Stuff happens… #rainbowawards #doubleconcerto #holiday #giveaway

I take a few days’ break from the ‘net, and of course, that’s when things go nuts! Lots has happened since my last post a little over a week ago.

1. The 2015 Rainbow Awards were announced! The full list of winners is here. The only book I entered this year was A Year in the Life, which was a runner-up (and honorable mention) in both the Best Bisexual Romance and Best Bisexual Book categories. Mille grazie to the wonderful Elisa Rolle for organizing this gargantuan project.

I’m proud to display this lovely “runner up” graphic with artwork by Gerda Wegener. Wegener was married to Lili Elbe, the first person to undergo gender-reassignment surgery. (I’m dying to see The Danish Girl, though it probably won’t appear in my neck of the woods until January.)


To my mind, this is the best award I’ve ever received. I’ve got a couple of EPIC Awards, which I was thrilled to win at the time, but… Well, not to sound ungrateful, but at the end of the day, they’re just slabs of glass with my name on them.

I don’t write to win awards. I’m not even particularly competitive. Sure, the ego boost is fun for a day or two when/if you win, and I’m as susceptible to vanity as anyone else. But for me, writing’s not a competition. I just do the best I’m capable of, and hope people like the final result.

2. Double Concerto is up for pre-order. The official release date is next Tuesday, December 15th.

This book was originally published by Amber Quill Press as two separate novellas, Allegro Vivace and Sonata Appassionata. After some editing, rewriting, etc., it’s now a full-length novel.


Older man, younger man. Teacher and student. Love! Passion! Music!

Sparks fly when brash young violinist Matt Dugan strides into professor Aaron Parrish’s classroom. Aaron’s intrigued by the twenty-year-old virtuoso, and agrees to take him on for private lessons. Things get off to a rocky start that’s complicated by a growing mutual attraction.

Teacher and student embark on a passionate affair. Matt wants to tell everyone, while Aaron fears their twenty-year age difference will make them objects of scorn and ridicule.

After graduation, Aaron accompanies Matt on his first European concert tour. Matt’s beauty and talent attract other men’s attention, sparking Aaron’s jealousy, while Matt’s stage fright and family problems only ramp up the tension.

Now, no longer teacher and student, Aaron and Matt struggle to redefine their relationship—before outside temptations tear them apart for good.

Available at the following fine e-tailers:

AmazonNookiTunesKoboAll Romance ebooks

3. Starting next week, I’ll be running some holiday specials.

The first three original-series Courtland books – By Chance, Strictly Business and Complications – are now $.99! This special discount will be in effect through 12/31/15, at all the fine e-tailers listed above.

Also, I’m running a Bookbub promotion on Rites of Passage. It will be $.99 from December 15th through the 18th. :)

I’ll also be sending out holiday-themed ecards! If you’d like one, send me your email addy and I’ll add you to the list. A couple of lucky winners just might find an Amazon or Starbucks gift card attached!

What are your plans for the holidays? I’ll probably spend mine curled up reading, filling my brain with new words so I can get cracking on all those stories waiting to be told. Let’s see… I’ve still got the last Bannon’s Gym book to write, and another Courtland book. That’s more than enough to start on come January. :)

May you live in interesting times…

1335556996728_2134392Have you ever heard of a m/m author named Addison Scott? I hadn’t, until this week, when I discovered he/she had plagiarized my novel Once a Marine. In fact, Mr./Ms. Scott lifted my entire book word for word and retitled it Coming Undone.

Scott did the same thing to at least a dozen other authors, including Amanda Young, Ashley John, E. Davies and Donya Lynne.

The books were up for sale on Nook, Kobo and iTunes, but not Amazon. Apparently Scott uploaded them via Draft2Digital. I’ve contacted D2D, and it looks like they’ve taken down not only Coming Undone, but just about all the plagiarized titles. So that’s good.

I’m still a bit in shock, though. Seven years in this business, and this is the first time I’ve been plagiarized – to my knowledge, anyway. I don’t know whether to be more pissed or complimented.

For right now, I’m sticking with pissed. The publication date on Coming Undone is October 2015 – last month. Still, there’s no way of knowing how many copies Scott sold that I should’ve sold, unless I engage an attorney.

I’m still thinking about it.

On a happier note, I’ve got a new book coming in December! Well, okay – a new/old book! I’m reissuing the two novellas Amber Quill originally published back in 2010.

Here’s the sweet new cover I bought today at!


I’m still working on some minor edits – might as well make it as shiny and new as I can, right? – but I’m hoping to have it out by the middle of December.

I won’t say “Happy Veteran’s Day”…

veterans-administration-military-healthcare-funny-ecard-w6xBecause, to my mind, there’s nothing happy about sending brave men and women to their deaths for no good reason. And now that I’ve let my Commie-pinko-pacifist flag fly…

In honor of all those brave men and women – and the founding of the United States Marine Corps on November 10th – I’m offering my two self-pubbed military titles, Once a Marine and The Only One Who Cares, for $.99 each!



iTunes / Kobo / Nook


iTunes / All Romance / Kobo / Nook

Offer good through Friday, November 13th. Semper Fi!

Taking a step back.

national-stress-awareness-day-holiday-funny-ecard-oyPYou’ve heard of Van Morrison, right? You probably know him as the guy who sang Brown-Eyed Girl. But when I hear his name, I think of his album Astral Weeks.

If I ventured in the slipstream
Between the viaducts of your dreams
Where the mobile steel rims crack
And the ditch and the back roads stop
Could you find me
Would you kiss my eyes
And lay me down
In silence easy
To be born again

And that’s just the first verse of the first song!

I first heard these lyrics twenty-odd years ago, and even now (I’m listening on my earbuds as I type) they blow my mind. Van’s reedy tenor and the folk-rock-with-a-touch-of-jazz arrangements sound deceptively simple, until you close your eyes and really listen. (A little weed helps too, but if you’re in a non-legal state, you didn’t hear this from me.) It’s Morrison’s masterpiece, but even back in the day, it didn’t sell.

I love the kind of stuff – music, books, movies, etc. – that appeals to a niche audience. I don’t watch new TV shows anymore because they inevitably get canceled (especially if they’re genre shows on FOX!). I wait for movies to show up on cable rather than sink them at the box office by rushing out to see them at the local art house on opening weekend. It’s happened way too many times for it to be mere coincidence. Me liking something = the kiss of death.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone – except me, apparently – that I’ve spent the last seven years writing books no one but me wants to read.

The realization’s been creeping up on me for a while, I just didn’t want to listen. But after spending most of 2015 fighting a major depressive episode fueled partly by persistent writers’ block, and then GRL a few weeks ago…

I’ve busted my butt trying to make this writing thing my livelihood. I’ve given it everything I have and then some, but it’s time to face facts.

I don’t write fast enough to survive in this new publishing world. I’ve lost money on every book I’ve self-pubbed, and after the Ellora’s Cave debacle, I simply don’t trust publishers anymore. My books only seem to sell well when they’re deeply discounted or free.

After thirty-odd books, the message has finally bored through my thick skull: I don’t write the kind of stuff most people want to read.

I say this not as a passive-aggressive ploy for hugs or pity, but as a statement of fact. My work is dark, complicated – convoluted plots, characters who aren’t easy to like. I wish I could write another way. I tried writing a rom-com once, but humor just isn’t my forte. Unless it’s the sly, cynical, one-liner kind of thing, and rom-com’s are supposed to be light and fluffy.

Still, I could probably train myself to be funny. I could jettison the realistic, sometimes downbeat storylines. Make my stuff more lighthearted – what’s with all the angsty MMA fighters and drug addicts and transgender dominatrixes anyway?

All I know is that sometimes stories decide who writes them, not the other way around. My MMA guys, drug addicts, the fabulous Renee – these were the stories that grabbed me by the throat and demanded I write them. Rom-coms are more than welcome to jump me, but they seem to be keeping their distance. (I probably scare them! Bwa!)

Maybe one day I’ll get mugged by an idea for a genuinely sweet, laugh-out-loud story. I never thought I’d end up writing about MMA fighters, Navy SEALs or a menage a trois lasting over thirty years, and look what happened. There’s no telling where inspiration might take me.

But it won’t be taking me anywhere for a while. I’ve made the only decision I can make at this point. It’s time to put writing on the back burner and go looking for an evil day job.

I don’t plan to give up writing altogether – I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I love telling stories too much. But I do plan to stop pressuring myself to work harder and harder on something that I used to do for pure enjoyment.

Way back in 2006-07 – right before I was first published – writing actually was a joy. I had a boring day job as a bookkeeper, and all I thought about at work was what I was planning to write when I got home. I couldn’t wait to open the laptop and let the words fly.

But once I talked myself into trying to make a go of it as a full time writer, the joy disappeared. I felt like a machine instead of a writer. The quality of my work suffered. I know writers who can knock out ten thousand words a day – lucky them! – but I will never be one of them.

The next time I publish a book, I want it to be something I poured my entire heart and soul into. Just like Allegro Vivace and The First Real Thing and Breaking Free. Books I consider some of my best work.

Hopefully it’ll help me regain my love for creating again. :)

(And if you haven’t already downloaded Astral Weeks, here’s the iTunes link.)

And for the record… #stuffidrathernottalkabout #grl2015

scariest-part-halloween-rent-money-funny-ecard-pFkOkay, folks. Apparently I need to correct some misinformation circulating re: what happened in San Diego last weekend.

First thing: Yes, I fibbed about not feeling well for my Q&A Saturday morning. The real reason – which I didn’t want to reveal, because frankly, it’s nobody else’s business – was that one of the other authors on that panel and I had an argument the night before, where she yelled at me for something that was in no way my fault. The details aren’t important, aside from the fact that she still hasn’t apologized. So I had no intention of sitting next to her the next morning and pretending everything was all right when it wasn’t. Call me a pissy bitch if you want, but by that point in the weekend, my pride had already taken enough of a beating.

And for those who said I ignored them at the book signing because I was “playing” on my phone… No sooner did they open the doors to that sweltering-hot room (that’s why I was fanning myself – I was sitting under an AC vent that wasn’t working, which turned the entire experience into a 2 hour hot flash) when I got an email from the airline saying my return flight had been cancelled. So, naturally, I was distracted, and spent quite a bit of time trying to rebook my flight and my Supershuttle reservation.

If you felt I was rude to you, I’m sorry. I did not mean to give that impression. People appear to be taking this very personally, when in fact it has very little to do with them. Jumping to conclusions when you don’t know the whole story does no one any favors.

Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

11102856_895545617153904_2667438527077927775_nAfter five years of attending GRL, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the gathering for me. In fact, I don’t think I’ll be doing much more traveling to conferences of any kind in the future. I simply don’t enjoy myself anymore. I spend too much time worrying about managing my arthritis and other physical problems. More than a night or two in yet another uncomfortable hotel bed, and I’m in pain again.

Plus, I was definitely not prepared for the heat and humidity in San Diego. I live on the California coast, but up here in Monterey, we don’t experience that kind of humidity. Every time I stepped outside my air-conditioned room, my skin felt all sticky and disgusting. (The hotel cafe’s outdoor tables and wrought-iron chairs felt sticky to the touch as well. Yuck!)

So, my mood was already veering into “not great” territory before I’d even managed to find registration. Once I did….honestly, I’ve never felt more alone in a roomful of people in my life. I saw people I recognized from previous GRL’s. Some waved and smiled back, but the vast majority just stared at me like they’d never seen me before.

And that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the retreat. I ended up spending most of it in my room, partly because I didn’t want to turn into a sweaty, disgusting mess (heat + humidity + menopause = never-ending hot flashes), partly because the other attendees appeared intent on ignoring me.

Here’s the part where I get real. If you’re easily offended, stop reading now.

It cost me a not-insignificant amount of money to do this convention. Airfare and hotels aren’t cheap. Neither are swag and paperbacks. In all, I spent $700+ on this trip – and frankly, I might as well have flushed the entire amount down the toilet. I sold three books all weekend.

Yes, you heard that right – THREE.

Readers come to these things for different reasons than I do. It’s a chance for them to relax and hang with their friends, and that’s great. For them, it’s a vacation.

But for me, it’s work. I’m not a social butterfly. I’m an introvert who does not enjoy large gatherings. Sure, I can paste on a frozen smile and pretend to have a good time, but it still takes a lot out of me.

It’s particularly demoralizing to be stuck in hot, stuffy room packed with readers carrying stacks of paperbacks – but when they stop by my table, they don’t buy a damn thing.

“But…” I can hear you all saying, “GRL’s not about selling books! It’s about a gathering of our tribe!”

Bull. Shit.

If it’s not about selling books, why was there an entire room devoted to publishers hawking their wares? Why bother hosting a “giant book signing”?

Of course it’s about selling books – or promo, or marketing, or whatever you want to call it. It’s targeted marketing to a very specific niche audience.

Which makes the sting when readers walk past my table with nary a glance all the more painful.

I probably shouldn’t even be blogging about this. I’m breaking the unwritten cardinal rule by daring to speak of unpleasant truths. Everything should be all sunshine and rainbows, and it’s Tuesday again, and nothing hurts.

But it does hurt, and I’m not about to be a hypocrite and say it doesn’t. If there’s one thing I detest in this world, it’s hypocrisy. Phoniness. Going along to get along. I hate feeling pressured to be cheerful and witty, when inside I’m screaming, “Get me the fuck out of here!”

The whole experience makes me feel like a dancing monkey.

Every year, I tell myself, “This time will be different. This time I’ve got a new book everyone will love. This is the one that’ll put me in the spotlight.”

But it never happens. It’s been seven years since I was first published. Five years doing the convention circuit. Five years of jumping through hoops trying to make myself a success. Five years of bitter disappointment.

I’m tired of coming home from conventions completely exhausted, and – the unkindest cut – feeling like the entire experience was nothing but a waste of time and money.

I won’t stop writing – I can’t. It’s part of who I am. But this is not a hobby for me – it’s my livelihood. I can’t afford to go on publishing books no one wants to buy.

I’m #1! I’m #1! (In gay romance on AMAZON!)

Or rather, I was last night. As of this posting, I’m #2. (Keep your poop jokes to yerself! :P)

It’s all due to my latest Bookbub campaign promoting the Courtlands, the Next Generation series. The first book, A Year in the Life, will be available for a whopping $.99 at the following venues until Friday, October 9th:


Get it here:


I’ve sold nearly 700 copies thus far on Amazon alone! Yes, I’m still pinching myself!

Unlike some of the superstar authors in the m/m genre, this isn’t something I can count on every time I run a promotion. In fact, for me this is pretty fucking rare.

My deepest thanks to everyone who bought a copy – you’ve covered my expenses on this promo, and then some!

And if you’ve already read book #1, book #2 is right here waiting for you! (Sorry, Richard Marx!)


AmazonNookKoboAll Romance ebooks

If you’re traveling to GayRomLit in San Diego next week, be sure to come up and say hello! I’ll have some special goodies for you. :)

Bookbub promo, blog tour, and more! Courtlands galore!

This is a big week for the Courtlands! I’m continuing the blog tour for Rites of Passage – drop by Lovebytes and Parker Williams‘ blog today for interviews, excerpts and a chance to win your choice of books from my backlist!

Haven’t read any of the Courtland books? A Year in the Life is a great place to start! From now until Friday, October 9th, you can pick up the first book in my new Courtlands, the Next Generation series for $.99!


Get it here:



My new release, now available at these fine e-tailers:

AmazonNookKoboAll Romance ebooks

It’s RELEASE DAY!! YAYYYYYY! *Kermit flail*

Today is a day I thought would never come.

When I started working on Rites of Passage last spring, I had very little confidence that I would finish it. I was sinking into a black pit of depression that rarely let up, even during the relatively sunny, warm summer months. I spent most of June stuck on a couple of transitional chapters, which sent my mood even deeper into the dumps.

“Why don’t you just quit?” the little devil on my shoulder whispered. “Face it, you’re done. You’re burned out. Time to pack it in. No one will even notice when you’re gone.”

To a certain extent, this had already been proven true. After an upswing with the publication of The Only One Who Cares and Tap Out at the beginning of 2015, my sales started to tank badly. I saw it happening, but my depression made me apathetic and unable to summon the will, or the energy, to do anything about it. I barely even left my apartment anymore, except for doctor’s appointments and the occasional grocery store run. Most days, the only living soul I spoke to was my beloved kitty Timothy.

Somewhere in the midst of all this gloom, I started working on the new novel again. I got unstuck and crept ahead a few chapters, then I hit another wall. Took me another month to pull myself out of it. But this time, I was determined to finish, if only for myself. I just wanted to prove that I could finish another book. Whether it was good enough to be published was another story.

I actually considered not publishing it, even after a couple of beta readers encouraged me to do so. As with a lot of my work, there are elements in this novel that people may find offensive. Then I figured, “Well, that’s never stopped me before.”

Anyone who’s read my books knows I don’t do “political correctness.” It’s death for any creative person. If you produce only bland narratives that never challenge your readers or expose them to ideas outside their own life experiences, then frankly, I would consider that work a failure.

Romance doesn’t have to be all hearts and flowers, all the time. For me, it’s simply too difficult to believe in happily-ever-afters that don’t feel earned. That’s why I put my characters through hell – to give them, and the reader, the catharsis they need.


Rites of Passage is now available at the following fine e-tailers:

Amazon  Nook  Kobo  All Romance ebooks

iTunes is dragging its feet, but it’ll be up shortly.

Two more days ’til RITES OF PASSAGE!!

It’s been kind of a whirlwind here, getting ready for my first new title since February. It’s been a while since I’ve had such a long stretch between books. Hope you all think the wait’s worth it!

RitesOfPassage_500x750 Adulthood sucks.

With college graduation behind them, Seth Thompson and Bilal al-Mansoori enjoy their last carefree summer. But the perfect future Seth’s envisioned since high school—moving to New York to pursue a career as an artist—doesn’t appeal to city-phobic Bilal. A job offer allowing Bilal to remain in upstate New York drives a wedge between them, and Seth’s family’s well-meaning interference doesn’t help at all. 

A trip to the UK for Bilal’s sister’s wedding offers a chance for them to get back on the same page. But their holiday is abruptly cut short when the unthinkable happens…

And Seth faces the very real possibility that he may never see the man he loves alive again.

If you’re going to GayRomLit in a couple of weeks (ACCKKKK! I’m nowhere near ready!), I should hopefully have paperback copies of both Rites and my new Samhain paperback, Below the Belt.

Rites of Passage is now available for pre-order at:

Amazon – Nook – Kobo – iTunes

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