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2016–The Year in Review

2016
From the loss of Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, and Carrie Fisher (among so many others) to the political disasters of Brexit and Trump, I think we can all admit that 2016 kind of sucked on a macro level. I had two procedures (one major) on my spine and continue to have chronic pain, but at least I’m (mostly) out of a wheelchair now.

However, it’s wasn’t all bad.

Recommended Reads

I wanted to read more than I did in 2016, but I still have some year end recommended reads that I’ve reviewed this year. I’ve joined the Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge. Follow my progress and add me as a friend here.

  • I loved Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, edited by S. Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle. It includes two stories by one of my favorite authors, K.A. Smith. Read my rave review here.
  • Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins was so amazing, I ran out and read a ton more of her books. There aren’t a ton of authors of color in mainstream romance, and she’s possibly the best of the best. Not only are her stories well plotted, she does her homework on the history as well. My review here.
  • Basically anything by Kait Gamble (I reviewed five of her books here, but I read even more) but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Sins in the Sand. By the way, she just published a new book, Faking It, which I’ve bought and am looking forward to reading.
  • Basically anything by Alisha Rai (I three of reviewed of her books here, although I’ve read even more) but my favorite is Glutton for Pleasure.
  • Finally, one of my favorite reads of 2016 was Tamsin Flower’s serial novel, Alchemy XII. It opens on New Year’s Eve and continues month by month through December. (I was a beta reader for this series, and I loved every minute I spent with Harry and Olivia.)

Big Publication News

(Check out my Published Works page for a complete list of purchase links if Amazon Kindle isn’t available in your country)

 

Capturing the Moment

under-the-mistletoe

My first solo title, Capturing the Moment , and my first anthology, Coming Together: Under the Mistletoe were published and both have received great reviews!

 

Other Publication News

  • Intrepid Horizons, edited by Jessica Augustsson, included my story, Dumped. Blurb–A Unicorn’s (former) Virgin is left out as bait for a dragon, but things don’t go exactly as planned.
  • Rogues, edited by Delilah Devlin, included my story, Plunder.  Blurb–Sparks fly when the Caribbean’s most fearsome pirate falls under the spell of a sexy spitfire who’d rather send him to Davy Jones’s locker. I am working on a full-length novel version of this story, which will hopefully be published in 2018.
  • Coming Together Under the Mistletoe, edited by me, included two of my stories Kid Comet and an updated version of Baby it’s Hot Outside.
  • My essay An Expat Fourth of July was published by Long and Short Reviews.

 

Other Stuff I Wrote

  • Flash Fiction (for Wicked Wednesday) Dream or Nightmare
  • Flash Fiction (A Wicked Wednesday Top 3 story) Off Limits
  • Flash Fiction (for Wicked Wednesday) Keep the Shoes On
  • What I did for Lust, will be included in the upcoming anthology, Prompted.
  • Kid Comet, the third in my North Pole Chronicles series, was in Under the Mistletoe.
  • I further updated Baby it’s Hot Outside, was in Under the Mistletoe
  • For Love of Snow White was submitted
  • I expanded my first published story, Renewal, and submitted it
  • Lab Rats, was rejected (nbd, how publishing rolls)
  • Forbidden Territory was rejected (nbd, how publishing rolls)
  • I expanded Love is a Virus, and it was rejected (nbd, how publishing rolls)
  •  I wrote the first draft of the full length novel version of Plunder. (It sucks–all first drafts suck)

2017

My writing goals for 2017 are to finish Plunder and to write 5-10 short stories, including at least one more installment of the North Pole Chronicles.

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WIP–Forbidden Territory

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There are few places in the world more beautiful than New Zealand. In fact, it is so heartbreakingly beautiful, you’ll pinch yourself to see if it’s real, or if you’ve just drifted off while staring at a screen saver.

For me, though, the highlight of visiting New Zealand  wasn’t the scenery, although it is stunning. The best part of the trip was that I got to meet an internet friend for the first time (actually, two, but only one is relevant for this entry). After living in Singapore for three years I was ready to let loose, and “Bex” and I did so in a spectacular fashion.

Forbidden Territory, the story I’m about to share an excerpt from, is one of the least embellished stories I’ve ever written.

We passed by a shop called the Guardhouse.

“Oh, Tom’s on. I need to talk to him. Do you mind going in for a few minutes?” Bex asked, grabbing my hand to lead me inside.

As she chatted with Tom, I wandered the store, idly contemplating whether or not I needed another flogger.

Then I saw it. A thin, lucite cane covered in black rubber. The heat and humidity of equatorial Singapore had warped our rattan canes. We hadn’t replaced them, but this little baby was perfect for the tropics. I tapped it against my leg hard enough to get a frisson of pleasure and pain.

“Laur, what did you find?” Bex called to me.

I held up the cane. Her eyes glittered with delight.

As I paid, Bex mentioned “Guardhouse is the place I was telling you about with the cruise room in the back for gay men.”

“Too bad there’s no equivalent for queer women,” I commented as I signed the slip.

Tom shrugged, “It’s Wednesday. Totally dead. You’re the first people I’ve seen in hours.Take a look around if you like, but if anyone comes in, you need to leave. If you’re hooking up in there, you better be okay with stopping.”

At the words hooking up our eyes met and I felt my panties grow damp.

We spoke in unison. “Deal!”

 

We did take the opportunity to explore a gay cruise club on a night when it was dead. However, the sex is the fictitious element–“Bex” is a sexy, wonderful woman, but I have not had the privilege of being her lover.

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In other news, Capturing the Moment is on sale tomorrow at Totally Bound, and is now available for pre-order from Google Books, Kobo, and iBooks (release date April 26). It is not yet available for pre-order on Amazon or Nook at this time. Capturing the Moment also has a page on Goodreads