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Happy Pride!

In honor of Pride Weekend here in San Francisco, here are all of my queer stories, for free!

A Reindeer by Any Other Name (North Pole Chronicles #2)–m/m–He just gave the most sacred word at the Pole air quotes. Is this love?

Comet 2.0 (North Pole Chronicles #3)—f/f—The new Comet has no time for distractions with only twenty-three days until Christmas, but falls head over hooves for Jillian.

Love is a Virus—f/f—Captain Lily Dawes should be focused on the illness that is incapacitating her ship.  If only Ensign Patel weren’t so tempting…

Keep the Shoes On (Flash Fiction)—f/f

 

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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Giving Back Blog Hop

Strange Shifters

In the spirit of this week’s holiday of American Thanksgiving, Lisabet Sarai has organized a blog hop for authors who have participated in Coming Together anthologies called the “Giving Back Blog Hop”

I’ve taken part in three Coming Together anthologies thus far (Among the Stars, For the Holidays, and Strange Shifters) and I plan to continue submitting to them in the future.

Over the course of my life, I have benefited from many forms of help. The largest was government assistance in the form of money and food stamps as a child. I received college scholarships, without which college would have remained just a dream. Teachers sometimes covered field trip fees so that I wouldn’t be left behind. And when my daughter was in the pediatric intensive care unit at only a week of age, she was gifted with a hat and a blanket that someone had knitted and donated to Project Linus in the hopes of providing comfort to a child in crisis. So now, whenever I have the chance, I give back. I love that one of the ways I can give back is through my stories.

Young woman takes off bikini to swiming in the sea.

The first charity anthology I participated in was Summer Loving, edited by Alison Tyler, with proceeds going to help Sommer Marsden’s family during a time of medical crisis. As someone whose family has dealt with medical trauma, and a fan of Sommer’s,  I was eager to participate. This was the first time I had heard of a charity anthology, or considered the idea that the stories we tell could help people in real, tangible ways. I was so glad when “Baby it’s Hot Outside” was selected to be part of the anthology.

coming together for the holidays

I first heard about Coming Together when they put out a call for Coming Together: For the Holidays, edited by Alessia Brio. I had a Christmas-themed story, “New on the Naughty List” (which you can still read for free here until Dec 1), so I sent it in. I not only was interested in the theme of the anthology, but the charity it supported as well–Stand Up for Kids.  Being part of that anthology–as well as gifting copies of it–was the opportunity to share a story I loved and help homeless kids at the same time.

Strange Shifters

My most recent Coming Together anthology is Strange Shifters, which is also my second Coming Together anthology with Lynn Townsend. This anthology, feature sexy shapeshifters, donated all proceeds to Bat World Sanctuary. This was the first story I wrote (well, rewrote) after being critically ill this year. In a year where I am most thankful to still be alive and able to write this blog post, it is fitting that my only publication of 2015 be part of a charity collection.  My story, “A Reindeer by Any Other Name” chronicles what Blitzen was up to during the events of “New on the Naughty List” from Coming Together:For the Holidays.

 

Among the Stars

As a Sci-Fi fan, I leapt at the chance to participate in Coming Together:Among the Stars. While a fan of Lynn Townsend’s prior to participating in this anthology, I credit it as the catalyst to our friendship. If you read my story “Love is a Virus,” you won’t be surprised to know that I’m a huge Trekkie. (For the story of that one time Wil Wheaton saw my horrible TNG fanfic, go here).

As “New on the Naughty List” is currently free, and I’ve recently excerpted “A Reindeer by Any Other Name,” I decided to share a snippet from “Love is a Virus.”

When Lily turned to carry the plates to her table, the ensign was standing next to it. “You can be casual. This isn’t Central Command, and I’m too damn tired to be formal,” she said as she put the plates on the table and dropped into a seat.

“Yes, ma’am.

Oh for fuck’s sake. “Lily.” She pointed at herself. “Saanvi.” She indicated the other woman. Maybe that will calm her down.

“Yes, ma’—.” She closed her mouth abruptly. Taking a deep breath, she began again, “In that case, should I—? Can I—?” Saanvi’s voice trailed off as she indicated her uniform jacket.

“Sure, if you want to.”

Ensign Patel removed her jacket and carefully hung it on the back of the chair. Beneath the jacket, she was wearing a regulation black t-shirt.

Maybe this isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Lily glanced out at the stars, drinking deeply from her wine glass, but it was too late. The image of Saanvi’s breasts straining against the fabric of the shirt had already burned itself into her brain.

“Lily?” Saanvi seemed to be testing the word on her tongue.

“Yes?”

“I like your hair down.”

“Thanks.” Feeling a bit flustered, Lily focused on her salmon. When she regained her composure, Lily began again. “So, tell me how things have been going. I heard you really stepped up this week. Still healthy?”

“I was happy to help.”

“Personally, I was hoping for the flu. Then I’d have an excuse to go back to bed,” Lily joked, trying to put the ensign at ease.

Saanvi glanced across the room at the Captain’s large bed and sighed wistfully. “If I had a bed that big, I’d never want to leave it.”

If you were in my bed I wouldn’t let you leave it. Shit. Stop it, Dawes. She saluted the bed with her wine glass. “Rank does have its privileges.”

 

Share the name and link of your favorite charity and tell me why you support them in the comments below between now and November 30, 2015. 

On Dec 1, 2015 I’ll randomly select a comment, and I’ll donate 25 USD to your charity (I’ll send a screenshot to you via email to prove it.).

 

ETA—Thanks-Giving Back Hop Links
Sunday 22 November
Monday 23 November
Tuesday 24 November
Wednesday 25 November
Thursday 26 November
Friday 27 November
Saturday 28 November

Public Reading

A few months ago I was incredibly flattered to be asked to share my work at “Kink Dot: An Evening of Alternative Queer Erotica” here in Singapore.

I’m reading from my story “Love is a Virus,” which was first published in Coming Together: Among the Stars, edited by Lynn Townsend. Partially this is because I’ve not published nearly as much m/m or f/f fiction as I’d like to, and partially because my favorite kink is to play with power dynamics.  It’s a theme I’ve visited a number of times in my work (published and that which is under contract) including boss/employee, teacher/student, Doctor/Patient. Without giving too much away about Love is a Virus, I also really enjoy establishing and then subverting a power dynamic.

I love a good beating, but the interplay of power turns me on like nothing else…

For the next week, to celebrate my first public reading, enjoy Love is a Virus for free.

A Snog for Sommer

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 12.25.26 pm

Readers, today I’m taking part in the “Snog for Sommer” event hosted by Smut For Good

We love a bit of Smut for good over here at Blisse towers and what is better than getting sexy and contributing to a good cause? Doing that and have it help out someone you know.

Sommer Marsden is a fantastically talented erotic romance author, Check out her blog, pick up a book or three, you won’t regret it!

Not only is she very talented she’s an all-round lovely lady. Anyone who’s had the pleasure to interact with her will tell you.

At the moment Sommer’s family are going through a really challenging time, her husband is fighting pancreatic cancer and it is putting a strain on then in many ways. What I’m hoping we can do with our Snog for Sommer is to help take a little of the financial strain off their shoulders.

 

 

Among the Stars

 

Today I’m going to feature a kissing scene from my story “Love is a Virus.” I’m proud to announce it will be part of Coming Together: Among the Stars, edited by Lynn Townsend

 

Captain Lily Dawes has just ordered Ensign Saanvi Patel out of her quarters…

 

Captain Dawes closed her eyes and held her breath, waiting for the sounds that would signal Ensign Patel’s departure. She would re-establish boundaries. There would be no more lapses of judgment in the future.

Shields up, Dawes.

Everyone on board the Seattle took Captain Lily Dawes’s orders. It came as a shock, then, when a hand touched her arm. Automatically, she turned to face Ensign Patel. When soft lips pressed against her own Lily froze, at war with herself. Captain Dawes would push the delectable Ensign Patel away and order her to leave. Shove her into the hall and slam the door in her face. Lily wanted to drag Saanvi to the bed she’d admired earlier. Getting naked and sweaty with exertion and spending every last second there until Captain Dawes had to be back on duty was the best idea Lily had had in weeks.

You should stop.

Saanvi’s lips moved to Lily’s  neck, licking and sucking. Saanvi’s hands slid under Lily’s tank top and her nails scratched Lily’s soft skin.  Lily moaned as her clit swelled—how could Saanvi have guessed that was exactly the thing that would ruin her resolve? She had never been able to resist a lover—male or female—with long nails who knew how to use them. Giving in momentarily, Lily kissed Saanvi frenetically , not bothering to try to catch her breath between kisses, until they were both gasping for air.

“Let me stay,” Saanvi whispered.

 

I love this story, and I’m looking forward to your reading it in full when the book comes out!

 

CONTEST

In honor of A Snog for Sommer I’m running a contest.  Winner gets a free pdf copy of Among the Stars when it’s published (very late 2014/early 2015).

Comment that you’ve donated,  and tell me your favorite sci-fi romantic pairing…either actual or the ones you wish had happened.

 

I hope you enjoyed my snog, and I encourage you to go and read all the other snogs.