To introduce new readers to my More series, I’m currently offering my book MORE for free at various online retailers. Spread the word. Let your friends know they can pick up a copy at their favorite bookstore now.
“That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.” ― Kelly Barnhill
“The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.” ― Stephen King
“The best advice I can give on this is, once it’s done, to put it away until you can read it with new eyes. When you’re ready, pick it up and read it, as if you’ve never read it before. If there are things you aren’t satisfied with as a reader, go in and fix them as a writer: that’s revision.” ― Neil Gaiman
I recently hit the point in revising HOW TO HEAL A LIFE where I’m even more connected to the story and the characters. I’m adding those extra little touches that allow for deeper meaning and emotional impact. I’m learning far more than I knew I was missing about who these characters are. At the same time, I’ve been strengthening their interactions, tweaking the overall story arc, and filling in any plot holes.
It feels really good to be at this point. I wanted to wrap this book up MONTHS ago, but I’m so very glad I stuck it out and kept on plugging away at the revision phase instead of calling it “quits” too early. I would’ve been seriously disappointed in myself. Especially when it came to this book. Seth’s journey is a difficult one, but I always hoped that would make the book all the more emotional and powerful for the reader. I wanted to give his story the attention it deserved.
Now it’s coming together to be what I’d always envisioned for his story, and I couldn’t be happier.
I have a bit more to go with the revisions, but for me, this is one of the most rewarding parts of the writing process. I can’t wait to do my next read-through and see the full effect.
I’m thrilled to share this amazing cover from artist L.C. Chase for my short story collection FOR LOVE AND FOREVER, which will be released this month in both ebook and trade paperback formats. I’ll post links here and in my newsletter once it’s on sale at bookstores. Here’s the full description:
Six gay love stories from Sloan Parker, award-winning author of M/M Romances.
Cops and Lovers: SWAT teammates Sawyer and Finn have been secretly sleeping together for two years. Sawyer couldn’t be happier with the arrangement. Until Finn gives him an ultimatum.
His Roommate’s Secret: Brady harbors a secret crush on his straight college roommate, but he doesn’t think he’ll ever get the chance to climb into Rex’s bed. Until Rex shares a revelation of his own.
Swept Away: Eddie just wants to spend a quiet night celebrating with his partner on their fifteenth anniversary. Only this year, Mike has a surprise in mind. A surprise that may be more than Eddie imagined possible.
The Break-In: 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. Now he has only seconds to decide if he should stay or run from the most erotic encounter of his life.
A Lesson in Truth: After two years of longing, David can no longer deny what he feels for Michael, his professor and graduate school advisor.
Something to Believe In: Sean and Gavin meet on the streets and fall in love. Now they must search for a way to find a home and build a life together.
All of the stories in this collection were previously released as individual ebooks. This collection contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and one all-male menage relationship. 55,412 words.
Here’s an excerpt from the story “Cops and Lovers” available in my new e-book FRIENDS AND LOVERS, coming March 8th! You can pre-order a copy now at: Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords. These stories are the revised and expanded versions of the brief three-word scenarios titled “Partners” and “My Roommate’s Surprise” that I previously wrote as a creative exercise for my blog and website.
Sawyer Crenshaw drew in a long breath and leaned back on his elbows. His T-shirt lay crumpled in a ball beside him on the mattress and his jeans were open at the front. He didn’t bother to zip up his fly. In a few minutes he and Finn would get back to where they’d been headed.
Who the hell got half-naked, kissed like they’d been doing a minute ago, and then stopped before they got to the fucking? Something was seriously messed up between them. Had been for a while.
Finn stood across the room. He had his back to the wall, his arms folded across his bare chest. He sported a scowl that said everything Sawyer didn’t want to hear.
Or maybe he did. Maybe they needed to have this conversation. Get everything out in the open. Finally. Before the incredible tension that had been building between them for the past few months seeped into the job.
Not that either one of them would let that happen. They were damn good cops.
Both served on the department’s SWAT team. They’d been friends since the day Finn joined the unit, and as two of the team’s few single guys with no kids–and the only gay ones–they spent a lot of nights after work and weekends hanging out at Sawyer’s apartment or Finn’s house, spending their time off watching movies or lifting weights at the gym or working on one of Finn’s many home-improvement projects.
Then eventually they devoted a lot of that time to simply fucking each other.
Although they hadn’t slept together in far too long. Now they spent their downtime watching retro TV, shit like those old ’70s cops shows. They didn’t talk, didn’t laugh at the stupid-ass crooks or the retro hairstyles they usually mocked all through the show.
It was awkward and weird and completely fucked up.
From where he still lay on the bed, Sawyer threw Finn a smirk, knowing that alone would piss him off. “You’re mad at me.”
Finn kept his hard gaze locked on Sawyer’s chest. “I’m not mad.”
“Screw that, Masters. You’ve been mad at me since the raid on that house on Pickett. Like it was my fault.”
“You got shot. Twice.”
“I didn’t ask the guy to shoot me.”
Finn made eye contact for the first time since the kissing ended. “You might as well have. You went at him like you had no training at all.”
Sawyer sat up with a jolt. “Are you calling me a shitty cop?”
“No. I’m calling you a reckless one.”
“I know you don’t mean that.” Sawyer sighed in frustration. It hadn’t been his abilities–or lack thereof–that had gotten him injured. It was the asshole homeowner and his brother who’d fired on them as they were attempting to execute a search warrant. He got off the bed. Slowly, like he might spook Finn if he moved too fast, he went to stand in front of the younger man. “Just like I knew in that house you’d have my back. Like always.”
Finn met Sawyer’s gaze again and snorted out a laugh. He didn’t let up on the tense posture, though. “You always think you know everything.”
Sawyer let out his own terse laugh before he returned to the more serious expression. Maybe too serious, but somewhere deep inside, there was a part of him that ached to hear Finn say the words. Out loud for once. “Just admit it. You’re pissed about the shooting because it freaked you out like nothing else on the job ever has.” He jabbed a finger at Finn’s bare chest. “Because you’re in love with me.”
Finn’s lips parted. He sucked in a shallow, audible breath.
That was enough of a reaction for Sawyer. He reached for Finn and cupped his cheek, then drew him forward until they were back to the kissing, this time their mouths and tongues and bodies coming together slowly, tenderly, all of Finn pressing into him, focused on him with that usual intensity of his. Shit, Sawyer would never tire of kissing this man.