Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bliss is here!

Yay! Bliss is here! Well, it is if you've pre-ordered through Riptide. Otherwise it'll be here on the 18th! 





They're always happy.
Rory James has worked hard all his life to become a citizen of the idyllic city-state of Beulah. Like every other kid born in the neighboring country of Tophet, he’s heard the stories: No crime or pollution. A house and food for everyone. It’s perfect, and Rory is finally getting a piece of it.
So is Tate Patterson. He’s from Tophet, too, but he’s not a legal immigrant; he snuck in as a thief. A city without crime seems like an easy score, until he crashes into Rory during a getaway and is arrested for assaulting a citizen. Instead of jail, Tate is enrolled in Beulah’s Rehabilitation through Restitution program. By living with and serving his victim for seven years, Tate will learn the human face of his crimes.
If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it is. Tate is fitted with a behavior-modifying chip that leaves him unable to disobey orders—any orders, no matter how dehumanizing. Worse, the chip prevents him from telling Rory, the one man in all of Beulah who might care about him, the truth: in a country without prisons, Tate is locked inside his own mind.
*** 
If you want to read the first few chapters of Bliss for free, go and check it out at Riptide


And don't forget you can join the blog tour and win an awesome prize! Heidi and I will be touring here: 


August 18, 2014 Joyfully Jay
August 18, 2014 On Top Down Under Book Reviews
August 19, 2014 Butterfly-o-Meter Books
August 20, 2014 Delighted Reader
August 21, 2014 Smart Girls Love Sci-Fi
August 21, 2014 The Novel Approach
August 22, 2014 Prism Book Alliance
August 25, 2014 Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews


Friday, August 8, 2014

Flash Fiction Addiction is here!

Well, actually it's on Facebook. 

JA Rock and I have stated a flash fiction group for anyone who is interested. We'll be posting a shared prompt at least every month, and hopefully get some fun and crazy-different responses. If you're into writing flash fiction, or just want a smile, come along and join in. You can find it here: Flash Fiction Addiction

Here's our first every picture prompt, and my story underneath. Enjoy! 



Whoops



“Are you sure?” Peter growled, his canary yellow pants a million times sunnier than his current disposition.

“Dude, at least you got the hat.” Max said. “What the hell is up with this shirt? Do I tuck it in or not?”

“You’re just jealous because you couldn’t grow a moustache,” Alan said.

Max snorted. “Your moustaches are ridiculous.”

“Epic,” Alan muttered, smoothing out a crease on his high-fastening blue pants. “They’re epic.”

“All right,” the general said. “Settle down, please. Let’s not forget you’re scientists and you have a serious mission out there. I don’t need to remind you that time travel is inherently dangerous, and that’s without the risk of discovery. Good luck, and stay safe.”

Peter held up his hand. “Wait. I just want to double check. These clothes, really?”

The general glanced at the technician. She nodded rapidly. “We take our research very seriously!”

“Fine.” Peter sighed, and led the others into the module.

“Well,” said the general. “Back they go, all the way to 1973.” He blinked at the display. “What does B.C. mean?”  

The technician shrugged. “No idea, sir.”


She turned the dial, and the module disappeared in a flash of light and smoke.
 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Brandon Mills versus the V-Card

In exciting news, JA Rock and I have signed a contract with Loose Id for our Mark Cooper versus America sequel – Brandon Mills versus the V-Card. Not our original title, as you guys know, but we like it!

Brandon is Mark Cooper’s best friend, but they couldn’t be more different. Mark is reckless, loud, and would rather stab himself in the eye with a pen than actually do any work, while Brandon is quiet, sensible, and studious. He also feels sick at the idea of intimacy. Even a simple hug takes him to a place he doesn’t want to go.   

Because of this, Brandon Mills has a different feel to Mark Cooper. Mark Cooper was about two guys—both out and proud—negotiating a burgeoning relationship while also figuring out their kinks, Brandon Mills is about two guys who are both completely inexperienced. One of them, Alex, is desperate to lose his virginity now he’s at college, while Brandon, who has almost convinced himself he has no interest in sex, is terrified of his attraction to Alex.

For Alex, it’s love at first sight. Brandon is cute, and smart, and he has a plastic dinosaur on his desk. It’s clearly meant to be.



Alex may just be the cutest character JA and I have ever written, by the way. He’s incredibly smart, a little nerdy, clumsy, and what he lacks in experience he makes up for in enthusiasm. Awkward bus BJ, anyone?

And don’t worry. Mark and Deacon are still in this book. Deacon’s being as supportive and caring as always, and Mark’s being Mark. Our favourite football player Blake is back as well, and this time he’s on a mission. A completely misconstrued mission.

We don’t have a release date yet for Brandon Mills versus the V-Card, but as soon as we do, we’ll let you know!



Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Amazon versus Virginity

As some of you may know, JA Rock and I have been advised by our publisher to change the title of our Mark Cooper versus America sequel, which was called Brandon Mills versus Virginity. Because Amazon would refuse to list it with that title.

When I mentioned this on Goodreads, a few people pointed me towards this book:



Why is this book allowed to use the V-word, but we aren’t? I suspect that it’s all to do with the way this book is tagged. While this book, for all I know, might be full of sexy good times, it’s not listed as erotica or erotic romance, so it escapes the cull. Here’s how it’s categorised on Amazon:






Actually, there is a heap of books on Amazon with the V-word in the title. There are books about this woman:




And this man:



And this product:



And, yes, even virginity exactly as it pertains to sexual experience, or lack thereof:


The title, if you can’t read it, is Virginity: A Treasure. Personally an idea I find more disturbing that a lot of stuff in erotica (yes, even counting monster porn) but that’s a discussion for another day.

So what’s the big deal about the word virginity in our title, Amazon? Brandon Mills is nineteen. He’s an adult, who happens to be a virgin. It’s not unusual. It’s also not unusual for a nineteen year old college boy to spend a lot of time obsessing about his status.

What’s frustrating about this, as JA pointed out in an email, is it’s about sex. It’s fairly obvious that Amazon is only targeting erotica and erotic romance titles. You don’t see the same rules being enforced on writers of chainsaw blood-splattering gore, do you? And why should you? It’s ridiculous. Adults have the right to read what they want to read.

Except, apparently, when it comes to sex. Then a quick glance at the title – not the content, mind you, but the title alone – will allow Amazon to make the decision for you. Because there is absolutely no content in Brandon Mills that crosses any boundaries. The sex is consensual, and it’s sweet and funny and awkward. There’s not even any kink in it! Okay, there’s a mild dinosaur fetish, but that’s kept out of the bedroom.

Here’s what JA wrote in her email, which sums it up nicely:

I think the way they're doing it now does come off as an attack on sex. Because I don't see the same kind of scrutiny being applied to books in the thriller genre--notorious for exploitative depictions of maimings and murder and sexual assaults. So why should a romance that depicts those things--as long as it's in a negative light--be any different?

Come on over here, double standard. Step into the light so we can all see you. 

And, you know what’s most annoying about this entire thing? The fact that Amazon pretty much owns the universe. What Amazon wants, Amazon gets. As much as a part of me wants to says “Fuck you, Amazon!” and publish only to other retailers…well, that would be a pretty dumb financial decision. Amazon is the market.

It would just be nice if the market took its head out of its arse one day soon. 

In the meantime, I hope you'll all enjoy Brandon Mills versus the V-Card when it comes out! 




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Flash Fiction!

Here's a flash fiction piece I wrote last year for one of the GR groups. The picture prompt, from what I remember, was a woman in really short skirt and really tall stilettos stalking down a set of steps towards a surprised-looking guy in a suit. I don't remember all the rules, but I know we had to get the word "candle" in there somewhere. 

So here's what I wrote. I like to think it's proof that I don't always torture my characters. 




Cynthia Montgomery.

She moved as sleekly as a cat, in those high heels, short skirt, and legs that went on for-fucking-ever. Slinking up the steps like she was looking to rub herself against the nearest tomcat. Who would be Dan, by the way.

Poor woman, because what she didn’t know was that all those hours of effort—of plumping and primping and waxing and buffing—were completely wasted on Dan. That slightly stunned look on his face? Not befuddled by lust. He just hadn’t expected to see what his boss had for breakfast.

“Holy shit,” he whispered when I came around with the tray. “Did you see that?”

“Canapé, sir?” I asked him in my best waiter voice. Which was as shit as the rest of my technique, to be honest. I’d already spilled champagne down Brad-from-Accounting’s monkey suit.

“Are you still pissed off about that?”

“What? You mean being a waiter at my own boyfriend’s swanky corporate gig? No, I’m totally fine with it. Sir.”

Dan made a face. “Look, you know I couldn’t invite you. Besides, you needed the cash.”

“Oh, fuck off,” I said. “The only reason you didn’t invite me is because Cynthia fucking Montgomery is sexually harassing you, and you might get fired if she finds out you’re about as straight as Rock Hudson.”

“I beg your pardon?"

Shit. Cynthia moved as silently as a cat as well, and had somehow managed to circle us.

“You must be Dan’s boyfriend,” she said, extending a perfectly manicured hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you at last. Dan talks about you all the time.”

Oh fuck. Really? Really?

Dan rolled his eyes. “Cynthia, this is Max, who is somehow under the impression that I’m not out at work.”

“Um,” I said. “’lo.”

“You look different without your hair all—” She made a vaguely spiky gesture with her fingers. “I saw your music video, by the way. You’re very talented.”

“Um.” The canapés wobbled dangerously. “I’m sorry I said you were sexually harassing Dan.”

“Oh, I am.” Cynthia raised her eyebrows and shot Dan a teasing look. “But no more than he enjoys.”

Dan laughed. “You look hot tonight. Sofia Vergara couldn’t hold a candle to you.”

“That’s why I love you, darling.” Cynthia took a canapé, popped it in her scarlet mouth, and winked. “Now, has anyone seen Brad? I hear he’s back in the market.”

“In the bathroom probably,” I said. “I spilled champagne on him.”

Cynthia threw her shoulders back, showing off her finest assets. “Perfect. Dan, I may be late to the office tomorrow. Don’t call me.”

She strutted off, looking fabulous.

I stared at Dan and he stared at me.

“Um, Cynthia seems nice,” I ventured tentatively.

“Idiot,” Dan said affectionately. “Dance with me.”

“I’ll get fired,” I told him.

Dan held out his hand. “You’re a terrible waiter anyway.”

True.


I ditched the tray and followed him onto the dance floor.