The Only One Who Cares, coming next week! #kindle #mm #military

OnlyOne_500Hopefully I pressed all the right buttons – KDP gave me the little blue spinning ball tonight when I tried to upload my slightly expanded version of The Only One Who Cares. Now, I’ve uploaded some pretty big files before – the Unconditional Surrender bundle was a doozy – but this is the first time I’ve ever gotten the little blue spinning ball on KDP.

Ah, technology… *sighs*

I didn’t end up expanding the novella as much as I’d planned to. Once I’d gotten started with the re-editing, I realized the next part of David and Josh’s story will probably be a full-length book on its own. Hang tight, okay? I’ve got to write the next Courtland book and the next Bannon’s Gym book first.

But The Only One Who Cares is right on schedule for next week – Monday, February 2nd! (Which also happens to be my birthday. No, I’m not telling you how old. :P) If you’re a Cat Grant completist or you just like the new cover, you can pre-order it at all the old familiar places…

AmazonNookiTunesKoboAll Romance ebooks – Scribd – Tolino

Only $0.99 until 2/9/15!

Committed couple David Flint and Josh Walker are long past the injuries, separation, and chain-of-command issues that plagued their early years together as Navy SEALs. Now, with David embarking on a new career as a therapist, the future looms bright and promising…

Until Josh, now recovered from the PTSD that kept him sidelined for two years, returns to active duty. David dreads the lonely, worry-filled weeks of sleepless nights and radio silence ahead—and wonders if Josh is really as recovered as he claims to be.

Counseling other traumatized vets fills David’s days and gives him new purpose, but it’s his act of kindness to a homeless teenager that could end up changing everything, for him and for Josh.

As you can tell from the photo – or if you’ve read the novella in its earlier incarnation – David and Josh experience a blessed event in this story. And to think way back when I first got published, I swore to myself that I’d never write a book with a baby in it. First off, I don’t have kids of my own. All I know about babies is that they cry and shit themselves a lot. In fact, the reason I stopped reading romances back in the mid-90’s was because of the sudden glut of baby-centric plots in my favorite Harlequin/Silhouette category lines. Practically every book sported a cover featuring mom, dad and spawn in a wholesome, Rockwellian-Saturday Evening Post-style pose. Just what every woman wants the moment she falls in love – to get immediately knocked up!

Anyway… I just didn’t like my romance mixed in with a squalling infant. Go ahead, sue me!

I held fast to my “no kids!” edict, until I was creeping up on the end of drafting Triad back in 2009. ICYMI, I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, I quickly realized I’d set myself up to break my vow in a really big way.

Unless you’re writing an historical about the upper classes (who, with their nannies and housemaids, never had to see their children unless they absolutely had to), it’s pretty hard to keep child characters waiting in the wings indefinitely. After a while, you can’t get away with, “Oh, I just put the baby down for her nap,” or “I had to drop Lizzie off at school.”

Remember that old soap opera trick where they’d make a big deal out a new baby for about a month, then everyone forgets about him/her (unless there’s a medical emergency that requires a blood transfusion, where our hero discovers he’s not the baby’s father after all)? Then six months later, the kid shows up again, all grown up and ready to start fathering little bastards of his own?

That’s cliche, and just plain sloppy writing. If I’m going to bring these children back into the story as adults later on – somehow I must’ve known this little plot twist was in the cards, even back when I was finishing Triad – then I need to know where they came from. What was their relationship with their parents like when they were young? Happy? Contentious? Everything was perfect, ’til Mom and Dad (or Dad and Dad) split up?

Writers need to know a hell of a lot more about their characters than will ever show up on the page. Building a new character – or set of characters – is my favorite part of the writing process. For me, the story always starts with the characters. And well, you know my nickname – Realism Girl! So, if I’m going to “Keep It 100″ (with apologies to Larry Wilmore), I can’t just shuffle the kids on and offstage like furniture. Especially if they’re set to play an integral part of the story once they’re old enough fall in love/get arrested/get pregnant.

More books, more babies. I’ve almost reached the point where I don’t mind writing kids anymore. I do my research, but I’m still constantly afraid I’ll get something wrong, and all the veteran moms following me on Facebook and Twitter will hang me out to dry.

Nah! You wouldn’t do that… Would you? :-)

Self-publishing: Yea or Nay? #selfpub #kindle

way-too-sick-get-well-ecard-someecardsThe other day I looked at the calendar and realized I’ve been self-publishing for just over two years. Time flies, huh? Other authors have asked me if I’ve ever regretted turning my back on publishers and going it alone. My answer is…

Yes, and no.

My only regret lies in not taking the plunge sooner, when self-publishing was in its first major upswing. The pendulum seems to have swung in the other direction lately, but I’m confident it’ll rebound. Sales usually slump a bit during the winter months.

Even so, I don’t regret going it alone for one second. I don’t regret taking my books back from that pus-encrusted hell hole called Ellora’s Cave. I don’t regret keeping the rights to my newer work and publishing it myself. While I’ve been incredibly lucky in my other publishers – I’ve never had a problem getting a clear and accurate accounting of my royalties from Riptide, Amber Quill or Samhain – the EC debacle has left a sour taste in my mouth.

Too many other e-publishers (Noble and Silver come immediately to mind) have fallen off the face of the earth, owing their authors thousands. This writing gig is my livelihood. I can’t afford to take a chance on some shiny new start-up that may or may not still be in business next year. As for my other publishers… I didn’t sell worth crap at Amber Quill. I’ve thought about submitting to Riptide and Samhain again, but their release schedules are so far out, anything I send them this year probably wouldn’t get published until 2016.

Self-publishing gives me the freedom to write what I want, publish when I want, and keep the bulk of the proceeds.

The worst part was getting past the fear that I was taking a wrong turn, or that I wouldn’t be able to handle everything on my own. Actually, it was pretty easy. I found a good editor who doesn’t charge an arm and a leg, I’ve got several great cover artists on speed dial (or its email equivalent), and my formatter is aces.

All told, it usually costs me between $300-500 to publish a new book. This year I plan to learn how to do my own formatting, which will save me about $100 off each new title. Createspace makes it easy to publish paperbacks as well, but this year I may cut back on print. Normally, I only sell paperbacks at conferences, or use them for giveaways.

The part I find most difficult is figuring out how to market my work. Self-publishing guru Tina Folsom came to speak at my local RWA chapter about a year and a half ago, but all the tips and tricks she gave us on maneuvering our way through Kindle Direct Publishing – tags, keywords, etc. – are completely useless now.

I’ve read a gazillion books on e-book marketing. Some of their advice works, but most of it doesn’t. Sometimes it works for a while, until Amazon changes their algorithms again. Whenever we authors find a way to give ourselves a boost, Zon the Great Behemoth takes it away from us. It’s a never-ending game of trying to stay ahead of the damn eight-ball.

It’s frustrating, even demoralizing at times, but I’d much rather do it all than leave myself at the mercy of a publisher who might stick me with awful cover art or lousy distribution…

Or soak me for two grand when I ask for my rights back.

That’s enough for now. C’mon back in a day or so, and I’ll show you how I got started.

Cover reveal! #kindle #NavySEALs #baby

OnlyOne_500 Well, looky here! The amazing Lou Harper’s come up with another kick-ass cover for the standalone release of my novella, The Only One Who Cares. I’m aiming for a February 2nd release!

In other news… I’m working on a couple of new projects right now – the next Courtland book, and by popular demand, the next Bannon’s Gym book. Practically every review of Tap Out mentioned something about Aaron getting his own HEA. I wasn’t planning on taking the series further than three books, but – well, why not? If people are clamoring for more, I’d best listen.

And in still more news… I’m giving away signed paperbacks of A Year in the Life on Goodreads! Enter before January 31st for a chance to win!

January? REALLY? #kindle #kdpselect #free

1326401217513_650296It’s been a very strange first nine days of the New Year here in Monterey. Christmas was cozy and freezing. Now we’re having a weird (but not unwelcome) heat wave.

(In Monterey-speak, “heat wave” = 70 degrees. The mild weather’s one of the reasons my husband and I moved here 21 years ago. We’d previously lived in the East Bay, then Los Angeles. The summer heat in both locations nearly killed us.)

Anyway… since my pre-Christmas Bookbub giveaway of The Arrangement did so well, I’ve decided to do a couple more on my own. And since both Guarded and Habanera are both coming out of KDP Select this month, I’ve decided to make their last five days – January 10th thru the 14th – free for everyone, not just Kindle Unlimited subscribers. (And you get to keep your copies, instead of merely “borrowing” them!)

In other news… I’m currently working on revisions to my Navy SEAL novella, The Only One Who Cares (previously available in the now out of print Unconditional Surrender bundle). The actual novella’s gaining another 3-4K, plus I’ll be writing a bonus short story. (David becomes a baby-bjorn-wearing daddy and veteran’s rights activist!) After that, I’ll be starting the next Courtland book. Oh, and the third Bannon’s Gym novel, Tap Out, is out next Tuesday, January 13th!

Also, if you haven’t subscribed to my newsletter, what are you waiting for? In the coming weeks, I’ll be offering up some cool freebies, exclusively for newsletter subscribers. If you want to receive advance reading copies of my upcoming new releases in exchange for an honest review, subscribe to my reviewer’s list.

In still other news… it was a hard decision, but unless my health improves, 2015 will be my last year for attending conferences. The big ones – aka, RWA and RT – are already way beyond my capabilities. I was very excited about last year’s RT in New Orleans, but once I got there, I was completely exhausted. It’s idiotic to devote that much time and money on a major trip, only to spend most of it crashing in my room.

I’m already committed to attend RainbowCon in Tampa this July, and I will probably sign up for GRL this year too – it’s in California, so for once I won’t be battling jet lag on top of my arthritis and chronic fatigue. But cons with thousands of people and/or cross-country locations… I just can’t do them anymore.

So, if you want to meet me in person, you’ll have to do it this year.

And remember – Tap Out‘s available January 13th, and Guarded and Habanera are absolutely FREE for all on Kindle from January 10th through the 14th!

TapOut72lgGuarded_400x600Habanera_400x600

Another year, shot to hell… #writing #kindle #resolutions

2014-2015-looking-at-phones-funny-ecard-9F0Here we are again, at the end of another year. I swear, 2014 zipped by, probably because I had so many projects, convention trips, etc., planned.

2015’s going to be considerably more low-key, mostly because my arthritic old body can’t take traveling anymore. I don’t do well on planes, and when I finally reach my destination, I’m too damn tired to do anything – which defeats the whole purpose of going in the first place. So, next year I plan to stay home and get more writing done.

Look for that writing under my own imprint, Cat Grant Books. I have no work on submission anywhere, and no plans to submit anything in the near future. After the Ellora’s Cave debacle, I simply don’t trust publishers anymore. I don’t like not being in control of what happens to my work. I’d probably make a lot more money writing for a publisher, but in exchange for that, I’d have to give up final say in edits, cover art, venues, pricing, etc.

I want the option of changing any or all of these things, an option I wouldn’t have with a publisher. I want to be in control of who gets review copies, instead of just putting it up on NetGalley for anyone who wants to grab it. This is my livelihood. I’m not leaving it in anyone else’s hands.

What’s coming up: I’m currently expanding my novella The Only One Who Cares into a full-length novel, which I’m hoping to publish sometime in February. I’ve got at least one (possibly two) more Courtland novels in me. There’s a road trip story that’s been rolling around in my brain for a while, and a couple more projects that’re a little more nebulous. More news as it develops.

Since many of you won’t be able to see my Facebook posts after January 1st, I encourage you to subscribe to my newsletter. Don’t worry – I only send it out when I’ve got a new release coming up. Also, if you’d like to receive an advance reading copy of my next release in exchange for an honest review, sign up for my reviewer’s list.

Until we meet again – have a great New Year’s! :)

A very special Christmas Gift for all of you… #courtlands #thearrangement #kindle #freebie

Cover for The Arrangement by Cat GrantAll of you who haven’t read the original Courtland series, that is!

As kind of a backdoor promo (stop snickering!) for A Year in the Life, I’m offering the first Courtland book (first written, first published), The Arrangement, absolutely FREE until December 24th! (Click on the title to be taken to the book’s landing page with links to all sales venues.)

Oh, and By Chance and In From the Cold (the first books in the original Courtland series, and the Next Generation, respectively) are now PERMA-FREE.

And for those of you who haven’t picked up Unconditional Surrender, you’d better hurry! This bundle is officially out of print as of January 1st.

I’m coming into the home stretch on the tattoo artist/porn star book. I’d hoped to type “The End” tonight, but I’ll definitely do it this weekend, then I can send it off to my co-author with a clear conscience. (I don’t like having work hanging over my head during the holidays.)

If I get it done before Sunday, I’m taking the afternoon off to go see The Hobbit. I also want to see Into the Woods, and I wanted to see The Interview, until L’il Kim of North Korea proved he’s the boss of us. Bummer! I love Seth Rogen and James Franco when they’re gettin’ their funny on. Hopefully it’ll show up on cable… eventually.

And now, since it’s 2 AM and I’ve been writing my fingers off for the past four hours, I’m going to bed. :)

 

 

Happy Release Day! #courtlands #nextgeneration #ebook #kindle #mm #newadult

AYearInTheLifeEeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I’m more excited about today than I am about Christmas – because today, A Year in the Life is released!

Courtland fans, get ready – the next generation’s here!

A campus flu outbreak, complicated by a freak October blizzard, brings Cornell seniors Seth Thompson and Bilal al-Mansoori together. Three days spent waiting out the storm at Seth’s snowbound apartment leads to an unexpected mutual attraction—and a hot night under the covers, which quickly deepens into a true emotional bond…

Plus, a world of problems for Bilal, an Iranian Muslim. Despite his homeland’s harsh laws and even harsher punishment for homosexuality, Bilal can no longer deny who he really is: A gay man falling in love for the first time.

Seth’s gentle manner and passionate lovemaking bring Bilal more joy than he ever thought possible. Yet, despite the lovers’ growing happiness, Bilal’s haunted by guilt and shame left over from his strict upbringing, and the sad realization that he’ll never see his family in Iran again.

Speaking of families, it’s time for Bilal to meet Seth’s…

Eric, Nick and Ally. Ten years later, this committed triad is still as deeply in love as ever, but even commitment comes with challenges…

Is there room in this non-traditional family for Bilal? His future with Seth may depend on it.

And the rave reviews are pouring in!

“Beautifully written, Ms. Grant’s fluid writing style hooks you right from the beginning and keeps you intrigued to the last page, wishing it would never end. The passion, emotion and connection between, not only Seth and Bilal but all the characters, is so intense and realistic you can’t help but smile…” — reader review from Amanda, Goodreads

“…An amazing story that was so beautifully written, I was lost in it from the beginning to the end… I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance…” — Aerin, MMGoodBookReviews

As a special bonus, I’ve included the prequel novella, In From the Cold! The start of Seth and Bilal’s love affair, all in one volume!

Available NOW from the following fine e-tailers:

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo / All Romance ebooks

If you’re so inclined, I’d love to see your HONEST REVIEW on Amazon or Goodreads. Let me know what you thought of this first volume in my brand-new Courtlands: The Next Generation series!

And finally, I’d like to extend my deepest thanks for everyone’s kindness and support this year. I couldn’t have bought back the rights to my Icon Men series without your generous contributions to my GoFundMe campaign. Believe me when I say, I’m incredibly grateful for each and every one of you.

Have a lovely, happy holiday season!

Love, Cat :)

Somebody up there likes me… #EPICawards #nominations #samhain

BlackDog72lgThis seems to be my week for awards – the Rainbow Awards on Sunday, and today EPIC announced their finalists. Miracle of miracles, I actually got a couple!

Black Dog was nominated in the Contemporary Fiction category, and The Only One Who Knows & The Only One Who Matters finaled in Best Action/Adventure Romance category.

Kinda funny that the EPICs would choose three books I entered into the Rainbows that didn’t final in that contest. You just never know what’s going to resonate with readers/judges.

I can always count on at least one awards contest to pick the books I love that no one else seems to be on board with, and that’s definitely what happened with the Rainbows. Breaking Free is, IMHO, the best solo book I’ve published this year, but nobody reads transgender books, despite the “We Need More Diverse Books!” meme that’s been making the rounds lately.

To all my readers out there, I’m issuing a challenge. Over the holidays, I want you to read at least one diverse-themed book – AKA, a work of fiction featuring transgender, interracial, interfaith and/or multicultural characters. (This is not a plug for my books – there’s a whole world of diverse books out there waiting for readers to discover them!) If you’re looking for suggestions, start with this year’s Lambda Literary Award submissions.

That should keep you busy for a while. :)

Coming March 18th from Samhain!

Coming March 18th from Samhain!

OnlyOneWhoKnows-The72lg

 

 

2015_EBook_finalist-sm

 

 

Holy crap! I WON!!!! #rainbowawards #LGBT #erotica #gay #contemporary

I spent the whole day sleeping, after spending the whole night writing, and completely forgot that the Rainbow Awards were going to be announced today. I wasn’t holding out much hope that I’d actually win anything – I hardly ever do. So when I looked at my email this afternoon… well, let’s just say I’m still in shock!

BreakingFree_500x750

1st Place Winner – LGBT Erotica

Cat delivers as usual. I don’t even like books that include cross-dressing, just not my thing, but Cat made this a hot, hot story. The plot was well done, a slow build up that did not disappoint.

WinnerMD

And, as if that wasn’t enough, I also placed in Gay Contemporary:

Takedown72lg

Tied for 3rd Place – Best Gay Contemporary Romance

Wonderful, well-written, complex story. It’s gritty, not one of those romances that leaves readers sighing happily at the end, so marketing it to the right audience is important.

This was a novel that caught me very off-guard. I really did not expect anything out of a story so far from my own life (and the type of m/m novels I read), but the author has got me buying the first novel in the trilogy, and signing-up for the third when it’s available. This, for everything that made it up, is one of the best novels I have read…ever. One point: the reader has to be ready to accept a gritty, angst-ridden storyline, or none of what I said above will win them past the first few chapters. It is their loss.

I very much enjoyed Ms. Grant’s writing. The complexity of the story told and the cast of characters should have been confusing, but I had no problems keeping up with the flow of the story. The details of the fights were visceral and I felt like I was with Tom and Travis in the ring. Love the themes of family, friendship and love.

Runner-UpMD

 

Wow. This is pretty amazing! But nobody writes a book alone – or rather, edits it alone – so I have a few people to thank.

Sam Schooler and Linda Ingmanson – my editors on Breaking Free and Takedown, respectively. Thank you for helping me make these books the best they could be.

Thanks are also due to LC Chase and Lou Harper, my amazing cover artists.

And now, I think I deserve a glass of wine while I watch my Sunday night shows. :)

 

Looking for a few intrepid souls… #courtlands #self-publishing #reviews

MjAxMy05N2U1YjRiYzY3Y2E1MmJm_5293d3de2d9b4As of Friday, December 5th, we’ll be ten days out from the launch of A Year in the Life.

I’d like to make this launch special, so I’m going to try something a little different this time.

I’m looking for a few good readers to post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads in exchange for a free advance copy – but you must post your reviews on release day. I want at least 25 honest reviews posted on December 15th.

Can you help? If so, shoot me an email at: cat@catgrant.com.

 

In other news… I had no idea I’d been nominated for anything in the Goodreads M/M Romance Awards until someone told me on Twitter the other day – and geez, I got nommed in four categories!

Best BDSM – Guarded

Best Military – The Only One Who Knows, The Only One Who Matters, Unconditional Surrender: A M/M Military Bundle

Best Anthology – Unconditional Surrender

Annnnd…

 

40-N

I have no idea who nominated me, but thank you! This is the first time anybody’s declared me their favorite anything. I know it’s corny to say, “It’s an honor just to be nominated!” but it is! I was having a rough day yesterday, and hearing that some very nice readers thought enough of my work to nominate me put a smile on my face.

Thank you all. :)

Load More