The good, the bad, and the thoughtful.

With Bonded Beach out in the world, I’m starting to focus on the next book. The first draft is done, and I’m going to be feeling out for sensitivity readers for it soon – but first, the good and the bad.

 

Bad news first: Hanukkah Miracles will not be released until December. It’s a holiday-themed book (specially, Hanukkah), so waiting until then just makes sense. Plus that gives me plenty of time for editing and maybe setting up the marketing a little more thoroughly than I have recently. Two years ago, I was able to get slots for reviews and release notifications for my books with only about a month’s head start. Guess those days are over – a lot of places are now booked for their promotional activities six months in advance, which is why Bonded Beach hasn’t had much promotion going for it, poor book.

But this is good, especially for the good news: I plan to go wide with Hanukkah Miracles. In other words – it’s not going to be on just Amazon Kindle. I’m going to also release it on a few other platforms, too, and in multiple formats. I’m still looking into how best to do this, but I’m kind of excited about it. It does mean I won’t be able to submit the ebook into Kindle Unlimited, but it won’t be priced out of the market, either.

Why, you might ask, am I doing this? A couple of reasons. The first is that Hanukkah Miracles isn’t set in the Omegaverse. Yup, you read that right: no alphas or omegas, no heats or raging pheromones. (Raging hormones it will have aplenty, I assure you.) I don’t really have a concrete reason why, except that I was two or three chapters in when I realized, “Oh, wait, I forgot to talk about that part of it.” And then decided, “Eh! Whatever.” And kept on as I had begun.

And you know, I don’t think you’re going to miss it one bit. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Omegaverse, and I plan to keep on writing it. But it was a lot of fun to write without it, too.

I know there’s a theory that anytime an author changes genre, they should also use another pen name. (See Stephen King, see JK Rowling, see about half the romance authors out there, honestly.) And I get that, I truly do… but I’m not sure that’s the right move for me. For one thing, I’m not Stephen King or JK Rowling. I don’t have an incredible following for one specific thing. Also, I’m not shifting genres so drastically as they tend to do. I’m still writing M/M romance… just without the mpreg added in.

 

I’d also like to think the people who are reading my Omegaverse mpreg adventures are also out there reading regular m/m romance, too. Why change my name and make it more difficult for them to find me?

 

(And if I pick up any extra readers with a more generalized story… well. Maybe when they look at my back catalog, they’ll find a new genre they might enjoy.)

 

Now available, your next favorite beach read!

Looking for something to read while sitting comfortably near large bodies of water? Look no further! My newest release features a gorgeous beach-side resort, a sunset boat ride under the stars, and just in time to cool your fevered brow, a rainy day in Paris. Throw in two hot and sexy guys who think they’ve got this love-game conquered – and you’re in for a heck of a treat.

 

 

What Happens at Bonded Beach

Now Available on Amazon Kindle

$2.99 or free for KU subscribers

 

 

 

JAMAL PATTERSON WANTS TO FOCUS ON HIS CAREER.

Alpha Jamal Patterson hasn’t had a steady relationship in his entire life, and he’s never wanted one, either. When his next job involves photographing his favorite model at the infamous Bondell Beach Resort – known for allowing bonded couples only – that lifestyle proves to be a snag. His boss has a solution in mind – but Jamal takes one look at her “solution” and knows his heart is in big trouble.

BRYCE FULTON WANTS A CHANCE TO HAVE A CAREER.

Maybe secretarial work isn’t quite Omega Bryce Fulton’s childhood dream, but at least it’s in the fashion industry. Photo shoots in Paris aren’t meant for guys like him – especially with the secret he’s sure would get him fired. But when a cute photographer needs Bryce’s help to access an exclusive beach resort, Bryce gets the chance to have everything his heart – and his ambition – have always wanted.

ONCE THEY’VE WORKED TOGETHER – WILL THEY EVER BE ABLE TO WORK APART?

It’s the perfect plan: pretend to be a couple for two days. Jamal gets his photos, and Bryce gets to prove he can handle more responsibility. But Bonded Beach didn’t get its nickname for nothing. Now Bryce and Jamal are going to have to decide what’s really important: their careers, or each other.

It was such a trip writing this story – literally! I got to revisit a whole bunch of old loves of mine, from photography to the city of Paris to living in the big city. (The Parisian B&B I talk about in the book actually exists, and I’m more than happy to direct you to it if you’re looking for an adorable and convenient place to stay in that city.)

Plus I got to play with one of the most popular tropes: the fake relationship. I’ve never actually written this one before, but it was so much fun to do, I’m planning to write more.

Enough of that, though – what are you still doing here? Go! Get your copy! Don’t forget to apply sunscreen! And enjoy!

Summertime Reading!

For the second summer in a row, the boys and I have headed back to Arizona to stay with my parents. Partially this is because it’s too blistering hot in our current country of residence to remain for the summer months. My joke is that we’re trading heat for heat – except believe it or not, it’s actually cooler in Arizona than it is where we are the rest of the year. I grew up hearing people talk about how it’s a “dry heat”… I don’t think I truly understood until I stepped outside my house in the Middle East and experience 120F with 90% humidity. Blech.

It’s amazing how much the town I grew up in has grown since I lived here some twenty years ago, though. When I was a kid, the library was all the way across town, and the kid’s section was in the basement. It wasn’t a bad kid’s section, despite the yellowing lights and threadbare carpets. There were always plenty of books I hadn’t read yet, friendly librarians to help find things, and best of all, a dollhouse with some seriously amazing dolls and teeny tiny furniture and paintings and everything one could want in a dollhouse. You couldn’t play with the dollhouse – it was an antique – but I loved looking at it, and probably spent far too long staring past the Plexi-glass while my mother tapped her foot and waited for me to finish.

Twenty years later, the library is still there across town: but it’s no longer the only branch, let alone the main branch. The new location is much, much closer to my parents’ house, and it’s gorgeous. The kids section, instead of being in the dark and windowless basement, is bright and airy and features no less than five storytimes a week. There’s no dollhouse (I have no idea what happened to the one in my memory) but there’s a cave with benches and a Lego table, both of which fascinate my 3-year-old son.

This summer, like last summer, I signed the boys up for the summer reading program. Isn’t it funny how summer just seems to go with reading? The whole concept of summer reading lists and swinging in a hammock in the backyard with a book and a glass of lemonade. Or sitting on a beach under an umbrella, reading some deliciously silly book with scantily clad people on the cover, the trashier the better.

(True for most people, anyway. I once won a contest for correctly remembering that the last book my husband had read on a beach was Stalin and the Bomb.)

In keeping with tradition, my newest release features sunsets and warm air, scantily-clad cover models and ice cream cones. There’s even a rainy day in Paris to soothe your sunburnt skin! (And no mentions of Stalin or bombs, I promise!)

 

 

What Happens at Bonded Beach:

JAMAL PATTERSON WANTS TO FOCUS ON HIS CAREER.

Alpha Jamal Patterson hasn’t had a steady relationship in his entire life, and he’s never wanted one, either. When his next job involves photographing his favorite model at the infamous Bondell Beach Resort – known for allowing bonded couples only – that lifestyle proves to be a snag. His boss has a solution in mind – but Jamal takes one look at her “solution” and knows his heart is in big trouble.

BRYCE FULTON WANTS A CHANCE TO HAVE A CAREER.

Maybe secretarial work isn’t quite Omega Bryce Fulton’s childhood dream, but at least it’s in the fashion industry. Photo shoots in Paris aren’t meant for guys like him – especially with the secret he’s sure would get him fired. But when a cute photographer needs Bryce’s help to access an exclusive beach resort, Bryce gets the chance to have everything his heart – and his ambition – have always wanted.

ONCE THEY’VE WORKED TOGETHER – WILL THEY EVER BE ABLE TO WORK APART?

It’s the perfect plan: pretend to be a couple for two days. Jamal gets his photos, and Bryce gets to prove he can handle more responsibility. But Bonded Beach didn’t get its nickname for nothing. Now Bryce and Jamal are going to have to decide what’s really important: their careers, or each other.

For release on July 10, 2018

Pre-orders available now!

$2.99 or Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

This is what I did yesterday in lieu of writing an epilogue.

In case you’re wondering about the recent influx of emails in your inbox from your favorite authors, there’s a new EU law that is effecting everyone’s mailing lists. It’s not a bad law – it’s designed to keep everyone’s personal information safer. In light of recent Facebook scandals and whatnot, I don’t think anyone’s going to argue increased safety regarding personal information is a bad thing.

 

It does, however, mean that those of us who operate mailing lists – such as newsletters – are subject to consequences if we have any EU residents on our mailing lists and don’t comply with the laws – whether or not we’re EU residents ourselves. I’m not an EU citizen, nor do I live in the EU, but I’m absolutely certain that some of my readers are. (After all, Amazon does tell me when my books are purchased/borrowed from the French, Italian, or German versions of their website. One can easily surmise those books are purchased by EU citizens.)

And since the fines involved run up into the millions of euros… yeah. I’m damn sure gonna comply.

 

Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult to deal with my end of the bargain. Basically I tweaked the mailing list a little bit: there should be a double opt-in now. Instead of entering your email once and done with it, new subscribers will get a confirmation email. Once they click the link in there and confirm they want in, they’re on the list and I’ve got proof they want to be on the list. For the current subscribers, I sent out an email that basically explains the new law and asks them to opt-in. Once they do, they’re fine and I’m covered.

 

But anyone who doesn’t opt-in by May 25… will be automatically removed from the list. Which is the scary part of the proposition. I know I’ve ignored newsletter emails in the past. A whole lot of them, actually. Or I don’t get to them for days or even weeks.

Don’t we all….

I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen a bunch this month. I’ve got a plan to send out two additional reminders to people who don’t respond, so hopefully that’ll catch most of the stragglers.

 

But in the meantime… so far, so good, and I feel much better off knowing that I’m not risking millions of euro for the lack of a couple of emails.

 

But if you see an email from your favorite author over the next couple of weeks… make sure you open it, please? And if you still want to hear from them, please let them know!

The Country Alpha is out!

It’s official – both versions of The Country Alpha are available for purchase on Amazon Kindle! Each are priced at $2.99, or if you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read them both for free!

I couldn’t be more pleased with the early reviews already coming in:

tca_m-m3

“I love this book!…  I got trapped by the story, felt in love with the protagonists and I actually devoured the book. because I simply couldn’t. Put. It. Down.” (Five stars on Amazon!)

 

“[The] storyline keeps the reader turning page after page to see what happens next.” (Five stars on Amazon!)

 

amazon buy

 

 

tca-veronica-final

 

“Veronica and Jake are both well thought out characters, and we spend enough time with each that neither feels like a plot device in the other’s story. Their journey was engaging enough that I had intended to only read over breakfast and kept going until I finished it.” (Five stars on Goodreads!)

 

amazon buy

 

It’s been such an interesting journey getting these books ready for release – and I’m so glad to finally share them with you. I especially can’t wait to hear what the folks who read both of them think!

 

 

The Country Alpha is now available for pre-order!

WHEW! I’m pleased to announce that both versions of The Country Alpha are available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle! The book will be released on November 15, but you can pre-order your copies now for the discounted rate of $1.99 – it’ll go up on November 15!

 

TO ORDER VERONICA’S VERSION, CLICK HERE.

TO ORDER NED’S VERSION, CLICK HERE.

I wish there was a way that Amazon would let me give a further discount on one book if you buy the first – but apart from bundling them together (which has sticky consequences for Kindle Unlimited readers), I can’t figure out how to do it.

I am SO excited to have these books finally ready for everyone! I feel like I’ve been working on them forever… well, I kind of have, Veronica’s version of the story was my Nano project last year! It’s changed a great deal since then – I think it might almost be unrecognizable now. There were points I really doubted I’d ever have it ready – but I’m so happy with how it’s come out, and I’m overjoyed with Ned’s Story. I can’t imagine having written this story any other way, to be honest. I think Jake’s story was always meant to be told in this format, with the two possibilities. Those of you who read one or the other are going to love them – but those of you who read both are in for a real treat.

I admit, I’m very curious how this is going to play out. Let’s face it, the reason most people are reading my books are because they’re interested in a specific genre: m/m paranormal romance. Writing a book that features an m/f pairing? That’s a pretty big gamble for me, especially so early in my publishing career. And I think I may have already seen at least one person unsubscribe from my mailing list because of it. (Granted, I can’t prove it. But I can say that before I sent out the email about the pre-orders, there were 70 people on that list. Within a day after sending it? 69.)

billandtedwoah

Like you all weren’t thinking about them, too.

I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that Veronica’s version of the story is going to do anywhere near as well as Ned’s version (and I remind myself constantly that there is no guarantee that Ned’s version will do as well as The Country Omega did in the first place). After all – Veronica’s Story is essentially my first in a new genre (of m/f romance), where the name of Penelope Peters is even more unknown than it is in m/m romance. The fact that it’s even got pre-orders is kind of making my day. I’m going to do my best by it – because I do believe it’s a good story, well-told, and is worth reading – but I’ll be honest and say I’m not entirely sure how to market it.

So when I say I don’t expect it to do as well… that’s me being pragmatic. If it gets a third of the pre-orders that Country Omega did, I’ll be happy. Then again – if Ned’s Story gets three-quarters of the pre-orders that Country Omega did, I’ll be happy with it, too.

lowered_expectations.gif(This makes me sound a great deal more pessimistic than I actually am. Really, it’s more about setting myself up to be pleasantly/enthusiastically surprised. Or at least, not horrifically disappointed.)

(I will admit I am very much hoping for the first outcome, and not the second.)

 

Anyway, I have jumped into the media blitz with 1-1/2 feet. It would be two feet, except I’ve kind of dropped the ball about sending ARCs out to the various review sites. (That’s this week’s goal. Or maybe next week’s. Everyone’s a little pre-occupied today, I think.)

So what do you all think? Am I being reasonable about Veronica’s Story’s reception? Or do you think I’m being pessimistic about it?

The Print-Out

This week, I’m working on what is probably one of the more banal jobs in my editing process – the print-out.

Everyone has their own way of editing, and I’ve tried more methods than I can actually remember. But one that has stuck with me since I started writing with a No. 2 pencil in my hand has been reading and marking up a physical copy of what I’ve written.

In the early days, I marked up a printed copy of my story because it was literally the only way I could edit. I’m a child of the 80’s; I wrote my first stories in wide-rule spiral-bound notebooks, using pencils because pens were too messy. Once I learned to type, I used my parents’ old typewriter, which smudged the “e” and was noisier than any aviary in any zoo. At some point (and after what must have been ceaseless begging), I got a word processor – that cross between a typewriter and a computer, which had a screen about 14 characters long, but could save my files on 3.5″ floppy discs, and I had to load every piece of paper individually when it was time to print my work in one mass effort.

Obviously, there were a lot of mistakes and typos, when only 14 characters at a time were visible. I got pretty used to printing out my story, marking up the changes and new scenes and dialog and anything else… and then starting the slow process of skimming through the text, 14 characters at a time, to make changes.

I don’t think I wrote anything on a computer until college. My parents owned a computer when I was in high school, but it was the family’s computer, sitting in the living room for all of us to share. I liked writing in the privacy of my own room better.

Editing on a computer screen was a vast improvement over a 14-character viewscreen. Suddenly, I didn’t have to print out a page to see everything – and I stopped printing out stories to review them. I could edit just fine on the computer, and so that’s what I did. After all, I was still writing with a pencil a lot of the time, especially when I was commuting to work, and editing the hand-written words as I typed them into the computer at the end of the day. I still edited on the page… just much earlier in the process.

Until one day, about four or five years ago, when the story I was working on had so many problems that I couldn’t see all of the issues on the computer screen anymore. I was a stay-at-home mom by then; I didn’t write with pencil on the Metro anymore. Heck, the only thing I physically wrote with anymore was a crayon as my son and I scribbled on blank paper, side-by-side.

I  missed writing. I missed the scratch of pencil on paper. And I realized I needed to have that print out, to, and then lay out the scenes on the table in front of me. I needed to be able to flip back and forth from scene to scene, mark a place and be able to go back to it with ease. I needed to make notes in the margins, use sticky tabs and colored pencils.

I needed to write out my edits on paper again. So that’s what I did – and it worked. The story that had been such a mess took only a few hours to fix, once I could see the problems on paper.

This week, that’s what I’m doing with one half of The Country Alpha. I’ve got it printed out, all 197 pages of it, and once the baby is down for his nap, I’ll sit down at the kitchen table and get to work. Pick up my pencil, and start marking, editing, deleting, adding… and turning what is currently a mess of a timeline into something that flows smooth and sure.

It’s a little bit daunting… but it works. It’s not a step I take lightly – after all, 197 pages is A LOT of pages to print – but I’ve found that sometimes it’s the only way I can fix a problem too big for even my 17″ screen.

I love writing on my computer… but there will always be something special about writing with a pencil in my hand.


 

While I’m here – I’ve got an exciting announcement for this weekend coming on Thursday – keep your eyes peeled!