Which WIPs sound good? (#poll #mmromance)

Here are the three stories I’m currently working on. Please vote on which one(s) sound interesting to you

poll21. Untitled Sequel to Shifting Gears. This story continues Gray and Kenton’s story, introducing more backstory and worldbuilding of Gray’s shifter pack and origins. Kenton meets the pack and comes to terms with Gray’s abilities–and the associated limits it puts on their relationship. They also discover that Will’s partners have influence far beyond Northern California.

2. Untitled novella. Three couples–best friends and their partners–go away for a weekend and none of their relationships is the same afterward. More details later…

3. Sci-fi novella.  It’s something brand new for me, but I’m trying different things until I find the place that works best. This one is about a man who donates at a fertility clinic. He doesn’t expect to find himself on a space colony, but he soon forms an attraction to the guy who’s assigned to collect the samples. I’ll share more about this one soon.

Authors have feelings too — Breaking outside the romance box #reviews

depressed woman facial close upOriginally this story was published with Silver. A lot of you know the issues that publisher had, and the whole experience put me off writing any more. So when Dreamspinner wanted to republish this, I was thrilled, and did rework and expand the story.

So I was really excited to see the first review posted for Shifting Gears was 4.5 stars at MM Good Books. I couldn’t believe it. It’s wonderful when the reader gets why I did certain things in a story.

But that sense of well-being soon got shattered with a 2-star review that another review site posted. Yes, I’ll admit it hurt my feelings.

To be honest, I just don’t understand quite how two readers had such different experiences with my book. One reviewer loved the characters the other didn’t. One thought the writing was “wonderful” the other said it was “okay.”

Amazon readers seem to like it. Goodreads readers don’t. It makes my head spin!

I know it takes some getting used to what reviewers are going to say, and with just one book out, I don’t have a track record or group of avid followers. I hope it gets easier.

ShiftingGearsLGWithout spoiling anything, I tried something a little unconventional in this story and something I hadn’t seen elsewhere (in part regarding one MC’s relationship with another man before he starts up with the other MC). I can see it hasn’t gone over well, no matter how it was intended. I discussed this with my editor and betas and felt it worked here, but it hasn’t.

Quite honestly, I’m not sure if it was my writing or just that some readers don’t like things outside of the normal romance structure. Should I just stick to the safe stuff? The fun for me in writing is breaking outside the box in terms of sex an romance, yet still bringing the two main characters together in a satisfying and emotional romantic conclusion. But maybe trying something unconventional is not a good idea if I want to sell books and get new fans.

As readers, do you prefer that the romance and relationship follows the normal patterns?

Shifters? Weres? What’s in a Name (#pnr #amreading #gayromance)

Cover by Bree Archer

Shifting Gears releases today from Dreamspinner Press. I tried to make this story different from your average wolf-shifter book and I hope I’ve succeeded. Today I’m exploring some aspects of shifters and werewolves and how I don’t see them as quite the same thing.

Gray Fowler, my alpha wolf-shifter is very particular. He is not a werewolf. “There’s too much mythology going on there,” he tells Kenton.

Order Shifting Gears at Dreamspinner

Order Shifting Gears at Amazon

I agree! To me, the word “werewolf” conjures up all sorts of dark (and hairy) images, most of which aren’t at all sexy. I think of the Wolf Man, who’s more Saturday matinee than movie star dream. Over the years, pop culture has given werewolves a pretty bad rap. They do some bad shit. Even the ones we love, like Oz in Buffy.

It’s been only more recently that wolf shifter characters have gotten a little sex appeal going. Though I’m not a fan of the Twilight franchise, I can still enjoy Taylor Lautner, even though his wolf is CGI. Teen Wolf is another departure from the more clichéd examples. When the wolves in human form can get our hearts and sympathy, we can forgive some of the things they do. Actually, I can forgive Alcide in True Blood just about anything. He only kills people who deserve it, but he still kills.

I’m not a fan of gore in my books or films, which is another reason I’ve shied away from many of the classic wolves. The transformation scenes get my skin crawling, though I think they are incredibly important to understand the experience from the shifter’s point of view, and sometimes that’s just yucky (think of the scene in Supernatural when the shapeshifter takes on Dean’s appearance. That scene still makes me need to wash my eyes out!)

What about other weres and shifters? Somehow the idea of a wereduck or wereotter sounds cute and cuddly, and they are. I definitely put them in a different category. These characters live in a different world than that of the wolf who is pursued in animal form, whether or not he’s actually done something reprehensible.

I haven’t even had a chance to touch on how to explain yourself to a non-shifter significant other? Or his parents? “Mom, this is my werewolf boyfriend. We promise not to visit during the full moon. Go on, give him a hug!”

So, there are a lot of fun aspects to explore with a shifter, wolf or not. I couldn’t possibly address even a fraction of them here or in Shifting Gears, but doing a little reading and research opens up so many possibilities.

What aspects of a shifter’s life interest you most? Who is your favorite wolf and why?

Shifting Gears (2nd edition) Releases Friday 11/21 (#pnr #amreading @dreamspinners)

I’m just thrilled to bits that Dreamspinner Press is releasing my novella tomorrow. It’s also available for pre-order over at Amazon.com

Here’s more about the story and check out the gorgeous cover by Bree Archer.

One rainy night, bike-shop owner Kenton Palmer finds an injured dog on the road and takes him to the nearest vet clinic, only to discover he’s actually a wolf. Undeterred, he wants to nurse the injured animal following a necessary surgery. The handsome Dr. Will Barclay’s interest and his own brand of animal attraction overwhelm Kenton, who’s been doubting himself after a failed romance.

Gray Fowler is a wolf-shifter and pack alpha. After Kenton rescues him and takes him home to heal, he’s forced to remain in wolf form. But that doesn’t prevent him from falling hard for Kenton. It begins as jealousy, but Gray soon discovers Will, Kenton’s new admirer, is caught up in something sinister. However, he’s forced to wait until he’s healthy before he can shift and enter Kenton’s life as a man. Then Gray must discover how Will’s shady activities are linked to the men who ran him down and expose the scheme before Kenton gets too involved with Will.

Pre-order at Dreamspinner

Pre-order at Amazon

Don’t forget, if you leave a comment on any of my posts this week, you’ll be entered to win a Dreamspinner gift certificate. The amount will depend on how many people comment. More comments = more $$$$.

Shifting Gears in Saturday #SeductiveStuds #PNR #MMromance

Saturday Seductive Studs

Here’s another foray into Saturday Seductive Studs. Hope you enjoy this little peek into Shifting Gears! This time they really are shifting gears.

Cover by Reese Dante

Cover by Reese Dante

Kenton had chosen a rolling route for them, no steep hills, so that Gray could get used to his new bike and enjoy the scenery. The trees were just turning into their fall glory and it was refreshing to take a fairly leisurely ride on a lovely, clear fall day. He inhaled the clean fresh air that held a sharp tang. They were only a few miles from the coast. If only Will would join him on a ride like this, Kenton mused. Since they’d met, he’d cut back his riding time considerably, in order to make time to spend with Will.

As they rode, they chatted as best they could, about random things, shouted breathlessly to each other. Gray seemed to get the hang of the gear shifting easily and his legs were stronger than they appeared so he had no trouble keeping up with Kenton. On one stretch of flat road they began to race each other, legs rotating ferociously as they shouted taunts at one another and fought for the lead.

Kenton was a better sprinter and took the lead, turning his head to see how far back Gray was. Just as Gray began to close the gap he suddenly let out a shout of pain and fell, sliding along the shoulder of the road. Kenton circled back as quickly as possible and jumped off his own bike, not even noticing that he let it crash to the pavement in his concern for Gray.

Gray lay on his side, massaging his left thigh and Kenton sat next to him, leaning over him slightly. His knee was scraped and slightly bloody but it was hard to tell how seriously he’d injured it.

“What happened?” Kenton asked.

“I’m not sure. I felt this sudden pain and fell… Or maybe it was the other way around. It all happened so fast.” Gray was out of breath, panting hard as he sat on the grassy side of the road. Kenton pulled both of their bikes off the road surface for safety and came back to attend to him.

“What hurts?” he asked as he leaned forward and began to examine Gray’s leg. He was still breathing hard and he felt Gray’s breath on his neck and cheek as he leaned over. He hadn’t even realized he was rubbing his hands along Gray’s thigh. Suddenly he was acutely aware he was breathing even harder and that Gray’s breathing hadn’t quite returned to normal yet. But Kenton wasn’t ready to let go of him either.

(now available from Silver)

Read more excerpts at Saturday Seductive Studs

Shifting Gears in Saturday #SeductiveStuds #PNR #MMromance

Saturday Seductive Studs

Here’s my first foray into Saturday Seductive Studs. Hope you enjoy this little peek into Shifting Gears!

Cover by Reese Dante

Cover by Reese Dante

“Kenton, I need you to be a hundred percent certain you know what you’re getting into with this,” Will said for about the fiftieth time before he’d let Kenton into the clinic exam room to see the wolf again. “It’s going to take a lot of care and patience for the next four to six weeks, and I’m still not convinced the animal is completely safe.”

Gray fought the urge to growl as Will turned to look at him. The last thing he needed was for Kenton to leave him here. He was pretty sure that Will wasn’t going to provide the love and tenderness that Gray could see in Kenton’s eyes every time he glanced over. Will was just as likely to stick a needle in him and it would be lights out. Then he’d come up with some excuse to tell Kenton the wolf had died, then they’d bond, maybe Will would offer a condolence fuck, and he and Kenton would ride off into the sunset together.

Over my dead body! Yeah, Gray reminded himself, it would be over his dead body, so he better get his act together and perform the part of the helpless and loving pet.

(now available from Silver)

Read more excerpts at Saturday Seductive Studs

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