What a wonderful story…
One of my goals for this year is to get the free short stories that are available on my website added to a few bookstores. I’m pleased to share that all three of my shorts are now available at All Romance eBooks.
THE BREAK IN Story Description
Billy’s been breaking into his ex-lover’s apartment every Friday night for a little solo sex in the bed they used to share. One night he almost gets caught before he has a chance to finish his usual routine and climb back out the window. Now he has only seconds to decide if he should hide and end up watching his ex have sex or run from the most erotic encounter of his life — and maybe a chance at love again.
You can pick up a copy at:
Or read it for free on my site.
I dedicated my latest novel, HOW TO SAVE A LIFE, to one very special young man named Gary. Who is he? I wrote a guest post several years ago where I shared about Gary, my very first love. Since How to Save a Life’s been out for a few weeks, I thought I’d repost that old blog entry for anyone who’d like to know more about the story behind the dedication.
The following was originally posted at Fiction with Friction on March 25th, 2010.
My first release is available at Loose Id this week, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. The book is titled MORE and is the story of a confirmed loner who breaks all his rules for two men he meets at a sex club. Too bad his father will do almost anything to put a stop to the relationship.
Writing and submitting a book was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. And with its release I’ve been thinking a lot on life and goals and love and risks.
Thinking about all that took me back in time to my very first love.
He was an older boy who lived down the street from me and wanted to play “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Uh, get your minds out of the gutter, folks. He was talking about my horse and his goat.
And no, those aren’t some special code words for penis and vajayjay. I grew up on a farm. I really had a horse. And he really had a goat.
There was much discussion on the deal. I think it went like this…
Gary: “I’ll bring my goat tomorrow.”
Gary: “You can show me your horse.”
I think I mentioned he was older than I, and I was seriously crushing on him, so words weren’t my forte right then. I was lucky I could form single syllables.
The next day, he dragged that goat almost a mile from his house to mine along a major two-lane US highway. I can just imagine all the truckers and summer vacationing families laughing at this kid walking his goat down the center of the ditch, the blazing sun beating down on them, sweat dripping off his brow, the stubborn goat stopping every few steps, and Gary dragging it by the little rope he had looped around her neck. You really would have thought Gary was getting a piece of ass for how much effort he went to with that goat. That boy loved horses.
I would’ve loved a kiss, but I never did get to kiss Gary.
After the horse/goat deal, we didn’t see each other as much. When it came time for me to go to the same high school as he, I decided I’d work up the nerve to talk to him again. It was my chance to get him to notice me. I had it all planned out. I was going to be lost, wandering by his locker and have to ask him how to find my next classroom. Not the greatest setup, but I was fourteen. Give me a break.
Never did get to try it out, though. Gary was killed in a car crash before the school year started. As far I know, he never did get to ride a horse.
That’s a regret I still carry with me. I should have asked Gary if he wanted to take my horse out for a ride, even if it meant I’d get in trouble when my parents got home. I should’ve offered. I should’ve asked.
I should’ve kissed him.
If I had only known that summer we spent together was the only one I was ever going to have, I would have taken a chance sooner.
Sometimes taking a risk is the best option. So my advice…if there’s ever something you really want to try but are afraid to, don’t let the fear stop you. I wanted to write a novel about three men who meet on the same night and fall in love. I guess…dreams really do come true.
So what was your first love? Your first crush? Did you kiss? Hold hands? Come on, I’m feeling nostalgic. Share…
Good luck to each of you on making your own dreams come true.
The following was originally posted at Loose Ends, but I wanted to share here as well for all my writing followers.
Last year Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats tweeted 22 rules of storytelling. Now that I’m knee-deep into a first draft again (writing the sequel to my m/m/m menage MORE), I keep going back to some of those tips she mentioned when it comes to the basics of storytelling.
Two of my favorites are:
“Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.” — Emma Coats
“What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.” — Emma Coats
I think these go hand in hand when writing a first draft. I have to know the basics of what I’m trying to say and I have to be driven to share that story. I believe if the author lacks a passion for writing any particular story, the readers can tell.
When first starting a novel-length book, if I don’t have a firm grasp on the core concept of the story as well as the passion to tell that story, I stumble my way through the first draft, going back over the plot outline and who the characters are at their core until I land on the truth of what I’m trying to say.
Some questions I ask myself:
- Who are these men? What do they believe about love? What goals do they have in life? What are their biggest dreams? What are their biggest fears? All of these can help drive the plot.
- What are the basics of the plot in one sentence? One paragraph?
- What is the ending of the story? What happens just before the ending? How are the characters emotionally impacted by the conclusion of the plot?
- What in my own life (what experiences, dreams, hopes, imaginations) is influencing me to write this story?
- What is it about my own beliefs and passions about living life that stirs me to write this story about these characters?
For me the journey of discovering all this is what makes storytelling such a powerful, enjoyable experience. It may stretch out the process of writing that initial draft, but I think my stories would not be the same (and neither would I) without it.
You can read the full list of Coats’s tweets here:
The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar
This Saturday, February 16th is another Reader Appreciation Day at the Sweet Spot Yahoo Group (hosted by me, SJ Frost, and Jambrea Jo Jones). Stop by to enter the giveaway, read excerpts, and chat with authors of M/M romances. The giveaway runs from 8 am – 8 pm EST.
The following authors have generously donated these books or other prizes. Thank you, authors!
Here’s how to enter the giveaway:
- If you haven’t already, join the Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheSweetSpotMM/
- Watch the group page (or your email if you choose to receive emails from the group) on Saturday, February 16th for a message with instructions on how to enter. The subject of the post should read something like “Enter the Giveaway: Respond to this message for a chance to win”
- Reply to that message between 8am and 8pm EST indicating you’d like to enter the giveaway.
That’s it. You’ll be added to the drawing for your chance at a random prize. Winners will be announced via the group after the giveaway closes. Authors will be sent the winning email addresses at that time and will contact their winners directly.
Complete List of Prizes
- AJ Kelton: e-book copy of UNDER THE AUSTRALIAN SKY
- J.P. Bowie: e-book copy of A HIGHLANDER IN LA
- J.P. Bowie: e- book copy of A HIGHLANDER IN LA (second copy)
- Zoe Lynne: LOVE IN THE SPOTLIGHT (YA m/m)
- Lex Valentine: e-book copy of BROKEN BONDS
- Kendall McKenna: e-book copy of either BROTHERS IN ARMS or STRENGTH OF THE PACK
- Kendall McKenna: choice of swag – a set of Noah’s and Lucas’ dog tags OR a generic swag pack
- Willa Okati: e-book copy of OPEN COVER BEFORE STRIKING
- Cherie Noel: e-book copy of WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
- Lisabet Sarai: autographed print copy of GAYMES including Lisabet’s story “Crossed Hearts” (as well as M/M tales by Carol Lynne, Kim Dare, Jenna Byrnes & Jude Mason, Devon Rhodes, and Gwendolyn Cease)
- Tara Lain: e-book copy of HEARTS AND FLOUR
- L.M. Brown: e-book copy of SKIN DEEP
- Diana Castilleja: e-book copy of MARK’S COURAGE
- Missy Martine: e-book copy of MEREDITH’S PRIDE
- Karenna Colcroft: e-book copy of CHANCE MET
- Jambrea Jo Jones – ebook copy of winner’s choice from her backlist
- Sloan Parker – $15 in eBook Bucks from All Romance eBooks
- S.J. Frost – ebook copy of winner’s choice from her backlist
Hope you can join us at The Sweet Spot Reader Appreciation Day on February 16, 2013.
Authors of m/m romances, if you’re interested in joining us for our next RAD, we’d love to have you. Send me an email and I’ll add you to our author contact list.