Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sneak Peek Excerpt from Possession by Jessica Skye Davies

Description:
Confirmed skeptic Tyler Ward dismisses his horoscope when it warns against bringing home anything “impish.” Then he finds an antique cast-iron doorstop shaped like Punch from the Punch and Judy puppet show, buys it as a reminder of his youth in England, and mysterious misfortunes begin to befall Tyler the very next day. His longtime partner Kevin begins to believe an unseen force is out to hurt Tyler... does he believe enough to find the truth?


Excerpt:

IT WAS a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Westcroft neighborhood. A mild autumn breeze stirred Tyler Ward’s dark curls as he strolled along, crunching the dry fallen leaves underfoot. The trendy end of the city was a cross between an artist’s village and boys’ town, a close-knit community that often felt like one big family. Most every storefront on charming yet chic Aspen Avenue was a small, locally owned business that proudly sported a rainbow flag on the premises, and everyone knew their neighbors.

Tyler rolled his eyes as a particularly flaming couple across the street circumvented a ladder leaning against a building, despite having to walk into the street to do so. Some people were so gullible about that sort of thing. Wasn’t it more dangerous to walk into the road and risk being hit than to walk under an empty ladder and risk some vague, mystical punishment of “bad luck”?

The smell of fresh roasted coffee from the Celestial Café, a block down the street, was a perfect complement to the scent of turning leaves in the cool, crisp air. Tyler’s stomach rumbled slightly; it was definitely time for his Saturday afternoon snack. Tyler knew most everybody in their little “gayborhood”—many of the shop owners were good friends of his, and Saturday was usually his day to visit and shop with friends.

“Hey, Ty.” Lukas Zamora, the owner of the café, smiled from behind the counter. Tyler could always be trusted to show up on a Saturday afternoon while business was slow. Lukas put down the local indie paper and automatically poured a cup of hot water, knowing exactly what British expatriate Tyler would be having.

“No extra business from the fair on Chestnut?” Tyler asked, sitting down at the bar.

“Yeah, we were pretty busy earlier. Probably pick up again when they all come back to their cars this evening. Oh, Ty, if you’re shopping, this isn’t a good day for you to… um…. Wait a minute,” Lukas said, pulling up the astrology website on his ever-present laptop. “Here: ‘not a good day to bring home anything impish’.”

“Well, I wasn’t going to hit the sex shop, but now you’ve mentioned it….” Tyler grinned at Lukas.

“Hey, it’s serious, man. Says here it could have ‘disastrous and far-reaching consequences’. See, Mars and Saturn are conjunct right now with Uranus, during a freakin’ Jupiter retrograde. And I think Mercury is also square Saturn, which just reinforces the whole point. You being a Capricorn and all….”

Tyler quirked his brow and smirked at his friend. “Just give me my cuppa, yeah, mate?”

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Lukas said, handing Tyler his usual cup of Earl Grey with vanilla syrup mixed in.

“I consider myself duly warned.” Tyler nodded gravely, handing over a five, taking a peanut-butter brownie, and telling his friend to keep the change.

“You and Kevin coming over for dinner tomorrow?” Lukas asked, putting Tyler’s change in the tip jar, where he knew it would end up even if he’d forced Tyler to take it. Tyler and his partner, Kevin Strabane, had been joining Lukas and his partner, Daniel, for Sunday evening dinners for the last few years. Daniel worked in Kevin’s art gallery and was also a former Briton who had been one of Tyler’s first friends in the US.

“Yeah, of course,” Tyler said, munching on his snack at the counter. “What are you cooking?”

Lukas shrugged. “I don’t know. I’ll probably figure that out when I’m in the store at one in the morning.”

“You need to let other people close up shop once in a while, mate. Well, I’m off. See you guys tomorrow,” Tyler said, finishing his brownie. He headed across the street, sipping on his tea and leisurely window-shopping the avenue. He was tempted to try on a new pair of shoes, the red-brown alligator oxfords in the shoe boutique window really catching his eye, but his shoes already outnumbered Kevin’s by about five to one.

Instead, Tyler continued on to the vintage clothes shop a block up. Stefan, the shop owner, couldn’t wait to show him the collections of Levi’s he’d just gotten in, and Tyler ended up gleefully taking two pairs of the jeans, along with a dark brown corduroy jacket, a belt, and a couple of autumn-toned scarves.

Tyler and Stefan chatted for a bit about news in the neighborhood and around their little circle of friends. Tyler couldn’t help snickering and grinning at the aging drag queen that passed by the shop, waggling fuchsia fingernails at Stefan through the window. Stefan just smiled back politely before shooting Tyler a glare.

“Aw, c’mon, don’t you like Tierra?” Tyler cackled. “I guess I oughta get outta here, though. I think she wants to stop in while you’re not with a ‘customer’.”

“Sometimes I really hate you, Ty,” Stefan muttered.

“Yeah, of course you do, Steffers. You won’t be saying that when I’ve brought you some of Kev’s pumpkin bread.” Stefan was an absolute addict for Kevin’s sweet autumn breads, as were most people who’d ever tried them. “Okay, I’m gonna go poke around in the antiques for a bit. I’ll ring you sometime this week,” Tyler said.

“Alright. No, wait, don’t call me till like Thursday. Lukas told me this morning that there’s something bad about communication for people born too close to each other’s signs or something.”

“Bloody hell. You two are too susceptible to that shite. He told me not to bring home anything impish, for fuck’s sake. What’s that even supposed to mean?”

“I dunno. Don’t pick up any flavored condoms?” Stefan grinned.

“Yeah, well, Kev and I don’t need those anyway. I’m leaving now. I promise I won’t ring till Thursday.”

Tyler just shook his head at all these silly ideas as he crossed the street again to the antiques shop. The prices were a little high-end for him, but he hadn’t been in there in ages, and he really enjoyed just looking at the old and odd things acquired there. He quietly wandered about the three levels of the old house-turned-shop for a little while, looking at hand-painted fireplace screens and paintings of people’s grumpy-looking grans, barley-legged tables and cut-glass wine sets, old porcelain dolls and heavily embroidered ottomans. The soft hum and vibration against his thigh told him Kevin was calling, and Tyler started back down to the main level of the shop as he answered and told his boyfriend he’d be home in about ten minutes.

Just as Tyler hung up, though, something caught his eye. In front of the shop’s downstairs fireplace, amongst several sets of fireplace tools, was a painted cast-iron figure of the mischievous puppet Mr. Punch, in cameo. The prominent chin and drooping jester’s hat made the form of a crescent moon, with a hooked nose, hunched back, and evil grin. The words DON’T YOU TELL were painted along the base of the figure.

It was a rather grotesque thing and patently creepy, but it made Tyler chuckle. Out of pure curiosity, Tyler moved closer to look at the tag, which simply said, “19th Century English Punch doorstop: $50.00+.” It was an incredibly low price for anything in that shop, and Tyler felt like he really couldn’t resist. Sure, it was ugly and disturbing, but Punch and Judy shows were so nostalgically British that Tyler just had to have it as a little reminder of home.

As he signed the check and handed it to the old woman who ran the shop, he couldn’t help grinning as he thought of that horoscope’s warning. It didn’t get much more impish than Mr. Punch. Maybe this would show Lukas and Stefan to see reason when nothing bad happened just because he brought something “impish” home. Because, of course, nothing would happen….Read More Here

AVAILABLE NOW


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sneak Peek Excerpt from Rocking The Boat by Christopher Koehler


Excerpt from Rocking the Boat by Christopher Koehler
Dreamspinner Press, release date 2/28/11
From edited manuscript
Rated R


Life with Morgan in it was now a torment for Nick, and there was nothing he could to change it, not if he wanted to keep his job. Whether or not he’d be able to salvage what little was left of his dignity and self-respect remained an open question. Nick had long since abandoned telling himself he wouldn’t even look at Morgan. He’d have to blind himself, given Morgan’s current campaign. That’s what it had to be too—a deliberate campaign. He’d caught Morgan and Stuart looking at him and snickering more than once. It was yet another reminder of the gulf that separated him from Morgan. Those guys might be in their twenties, but they still acted like kids on occasion. It just made him paranoid, and he’d taken to glowering when he caught them at it. That only made it worse.
So that Friday after practice, nearly a full week after Nick’s ill-considered plan to set up Drew and Morgan, Nick was working on one of the junior varsity racing shells. The CalPac rowing program was too small to support a full-time boatman, so Nick was happy to split repair duties with the other coaches.
Nick sighed and looked up from the seat track he’d been tweaking. Morgan lingered on the other end of the boathouse after the other rowers had left, intent on some equipment chore of his own. Allegedly.
Nick returned his attention the task at hand, but he was preternaturally aware of the other man, could almost feel him moving just beyond the edge of his peripheral vision.
He looked up, and Morgan was closer, much closer. He was still busy with something that looked entirely legitimate, but Nick wasn’t stupid. Something was up, and he felt hunted, like a stag, and like a stag, he tried to put as many obstacles as he could between himself and the hound.
Trying to look casual, Nick fled to the other side of the boat to work on another seat’s rigging. He might as well as have just dropped everything and run. He chanced a look up, and Morgan was almost on him.
Nick quickly looked back at his work. The oarlock he fiddled with became the focus of his world, but he still knew Morgan stood right there, separated from him only by the width of a boat, two scant feet of carbon fiber. He could reach out and touch the man who’d consumed his thoughts. That man could reach out and touch him.
Rationally, he knew Morgan was only standing there for a few moments, but to his tortured mind, it felt like forever. Unable to stand it any longer, Nick looked up. “Oh, hey, Morgan,” he said, trying to play it cool. He cringed. It even sounded lame to him. “Working on something?”
Morgan stared at him with his deep, dark eyes, serious, even grave in his stony face. “You lied to me. I know you’re gay.
“What are you talking about?” Nick said, trying to save the whole sorry situation.
“I can see it in your eyes every time you look at me,” Morgan continued. He looked down. “And in your shorts. You probably shouldn’t wear tight shorts if you’re going to throw wood when you stare at your rowers.”
Nick shifted, trying to hide himself. But the only way to do that was to press himself into the shell, which would’ve moved him even closer to Morgan. He flushed, his cheeks burning like the Olympic torch. He laughed, or tried to. “It happens. Mind of its own. You know what it’s like.”
“What would you do if I reached out and grabbed that hard cock through your shorts? What would you do if I came over there and yanked those shorts down and buried my face in your sack?” Morgan taunted.
Nick swallowed audibly.
“I know I’m just a dumb jock, so it took me a little while to figure out what was going on. If you didn’t want me, just say so,” Morgan said flatly.
“No, it’s… I…. What do you want from me?” Nick demanded, anguished.
“Be honest with me,” Morgan said.

AVAILABLE NOW GO GET IT!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting to know Christopher Koehler





  • Tell me a little bit about yourself.
 Questions like this always paralyze me. They’re so open-ended. I’m a writer, rower, and at-home dad. I don’t get out a lot, because I’m incurably shy and I’m sometimes more comfortable with the worlds inside my head than with the world beyond my fingertips. So while I’m a keen analyst of manners and mores, I can be terribly awkward when they let me out in public. Even when they do, it’s usually only under close supervision.

I have no sense of humor, which no one quite believes, but it’s true. I’m witty. I’m not funny. It’s the difference between cocktail party badinage and the Three Stooges. Or so I’d imagine, not having a sense of humor and all.

My philosophy in life has always been to fly under the radar while doing my own thing, so while I look blandly normal, I’m actually kind of odd. At least, my husband thinks so. I guess I can’t be too bad, as he’s stuck around for almost 20 years.

  • Do you use a pseudonym and if so, why?
I agonized about this, because I’ve got a young son whom I’m fanatical about protecting. But I published a non-fiction essay in an anthology about modern masculinity that dealt very frankly with a rough time in my life and his world didn’t end, so I’m a bit braver.

Also, I’m very out in my life, so hiding an m/m romance novel didn’t make sense to me. Anyone who objects to the m/m content isn’t someone I need in my life. I know others may have very good reasons to publish pseudonymously, but I don’t.

Then, too, when it comes right down to it, I’m shallow enough to want to see the name my parents saw fit to give me on the cover of a book.

  • What genre do you write in? Why did you pick that genre?
 As a gay man, I find m/m love stories potentially quite moving. I chose m/m romances because the genre sings to me. I chose contemporary because I’ve done enough graduate work in history that historical romances have to be spot on or I can’t finish them, and while I write some non-romantic sci-fi/fantasy, the romantic stories I want to tell are contemporary.

  • What inspires you to write the type of stories that you write?
 One past criticism of my writing across genres had been the lack of characters’ emotions. I suppose this might fly in detective stories of the gumshoe variety, but it was the kiss of death in manners comedies and even science fiction. Reading m/m romances taught me how to write about emotions, and it’s in romances that I’m the most in touch with my own emotions as a reader and writer. I’ve also enjoyed many, many romance novels over the last couple of years, and writing romances myself was a way to give back.

  • How would you describe your writing style? Plotter or pantser? Why?
 I am most definitely a plotter (make of that what you will). I’ve written a fair amount that hasn’t seen the light of day, and much of it was either by the seat of my pants or minimally plotted out and outlined ahead of time, and I think many of those stories lacked focus.

When I wrote Rocking the Boat, I decided to try following a fairly formal plot structure, with both the narrative and romantic/emotional arcs worked out in minute detail ahead of time and both built around pre-planned major turning points in the story.

Of course, there’s always a bit of room for improv, as characters surprise me by knowing themselves better than I do. I try to listen when they speak up. In my WIP, a character spun herself into being and plugged a hole in the plot, so while I plot carefully, I try to be open to the working of my subconscious mind, as well.

But this plotting business has worked well enough that as I write new things or rewrite old material, I’ll be plotting plotting plotting.

  • What is your favorite genre to READ?
 I have to pick just one? That hardly seems fair.

  • Do you have a specific place where you like to write? When, during the day, is your most creative time?
Either Starbucks (caffeine, bathrooms, free wi-fi), or curled up in bed with my laptop. I tend to be at my most alert in the morning and my least alert in the early afternoon, but creativity strikes at all hours of the day or night.

  • What’s your typical writing day?
 After I drop my son off at school (“Tuck and roll, kiddo! Tuck and roll!”) I either drive to Starbucks or return home, and then write as much as possible. If I’m deep into it, I stay off my usual social-media watering holes because they’re distracting time sucks. If I’m really deep into it, I’ll defer eating until later. Otherwise, if I’m mulling things over and outlining, I bounce back and forth between a document file and my web browser and just generally look like I’m goofing off. I usually knock off by early afternoon, either because I’ve burned myself out for the day or school’s out and it’s time to go be Dad again.

  • Do you have critique partners or beta readers? Why?
 I habituate very quickly to what I write and I also don’t tend to notice all the holes in the plot, which makes sense, since I put so much effort into coming up with the plot in the first place. So I rely on two beta readers. One is a non-writer but reader of the genre, the other is a non-reader of the genre but is a writer and editor herself. The balance seems to work pretty well.

That said, those aren’t really partnerships per se, although I do read my non-reader/editor beta’s work when she wants me to. I’ve had the worst luck with writing groups, so I’ve given up on them.

  • Who gave you the most support along in your writing?
 In my early years, it was definitely my parents, who never objected to a book in my hands, even at the dinner table, possibly because they were reading, too. But as an adult, my husband’s been the most supportive of this, although oddly enough, much more so once I had a contract in hand…
  • Do you have another job (besides writing)? If so, what do you do?
 If you mean paid work, yes, I do some freelance proofreading and editing for various publishing houses. I’m also an at-home dad, and that consumes the lion’s share of my time.

  • What’s your take on the future of ebooks and epublishing?
 It’s where things are headed, I think. Some of the freelance work I do is for one of the big NYC publishing houses, and I’ve noticed that pretty much all the titles are being released in electronic formats, as well as paper. It makes sense in terms of overhead and use of resources, but we lose something, I think, when we abandon the aesthetic of holding a book in our hands.

  • Do you have a favorite quote -- yours or someone famous or even infamous?
 “All styles are good except the tiresome kind.” Voltaire

“Don’t compare me to Oscar Wilde. Both our reputations will suffer.”  That one’s original.

  • What’s your favorite food?
 Anything I haven’t cooked myself. I’d eat a cinder block if you seasoned it properly.

  • What’s your favorite movie? Why?
 I really don’t go to see many movies. Or watch television, for that matter. When I have a choice about how to spend some “spare” time, which would I rather do, spend time consuming the product of someone else’s imagination or work on the products of my own? For me, it’s not really a choice. Writing wins almost every time.

  • Do you have a favorite book or author?
 While I read and enjoy many genres of fiction and non-fiction, my favorite contemporary author is probably A. S. Byatt. I read her novella Angels and Insects while I was working on my dissertation, and they both dealt with very similar subjects. It was love at first read. I got to hear her speak once. She reminded me a lot of Shelly Winters with a posh accent and gold lamé sneakers. It’s hard not to love that.

  • Tell me about your latest or upcoming release?
 Nick Bedford, closeted coach of California Pacific College’s men’s rowing crew, is struggling with professional ethics. He’s denying his attraction to Morgan Estrada, a rower on the crew, though the heated glances between them are driving Nick wild. Then Morgan makes a move... and though Nick panics, Morgan gets what he wants: Nick.

Safely assured that he’s not preying on a younger man, Nick gives in to his feelings for Morgan. They take pleasure in sharing their daily routine, and the sex sets the sheets afire. Everything seems perfect until an anonymous complaint is filed against Nick right before the biggest race of the year. It’s exactly what Nick has feared most—and it may be enough to capsize the fledgling relationship.

  • Do you have any releases scheduled for 2011?
 Well, hopefully the follow-up to Rocking the Boat will be accepted and released later this year. Each of these romances seems to take around 4 months to write, plus editing and then the submission process. So assuming I finish writing soon, if I haven’t already by the time this interview is posted, I’d ideally submit by June, and then pick up the pace on my planned third story in this series.

  • What’s your next project?
 I’m currently nearing the end of the first draft of Tipping the Balance, the follow-up to Rocking the Boat. It takes up the story of the CalPac Crew and two of the supporting characters from RTB, (Brad and Drew if you’ve already read RTB). ‘First draft’ is something of a misleading term in this case, however, since by the time I sit down to write, I’ve done so much prewriting in terms of plot structure, character sketches, and rough notes that the first draft usually doesn’t need too much reworking. After Tipping the Balance will hopefully come Settling the Score, the third and final story in the “row”-mances of the CalPac Crew, in which Stuart finds his happily ever after with a new rower on the team.

  • Where can readers find you on the web?
 You can read my assorted ramblings and overshares (and contact me!) on my blog at christopherkoehler.net/blog and follow me on Twitter @christopherink.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Getting to Know Xavier Axelson





Tell us a little about Dutch’s boy.  How did you come up with the title?
An article I read recently about a new rule that allows people to travel with their guns inspired Dutch’s Boy.  It was also around this time that Blake Edwards passed and I decided I would somehow tie these things together.  The funny thing was that Harry should have been Henry after Henry Mancini who was close friends with Blake Edwards but somehow it turned into Harry.


What is the hardest scene you had to write in Dutch’s boy? 
The scene between Blake and Harry caused a bit of a ruckus.  Some people felt the gun should definitely not be loaded and some people felt it had to be ambiguous.  In the end, I had to stay true to my original vision, which was to leave it up to the reader to decide.  It’s also my favorite scene.  Believe me, if anyone knew the story that really inspired the whole thing with the gun they would think what I wrote was tame!



Tell us something about Harry and why will readers like him?
I love Harry; I think he is this ambitious but caged creature who discovers the wonders of personal freedom.  Who can’t relate to the moment when they realize they can do exactly what it is that that they want to do?  This story is about achieving that freedom.



Reb brings a lot to this story. Is he based on someone you know? Why is he so loyal to Harry?
He is not based on anyone I know but more based on qualities I find appealing.  Loyalty just came through when I wrote Reb.  Harry is an ambitious guy and when you fall in love with someone with big dreams you either become protective of that person and try and help them achieve those goals or you become jealous of the ambition, Reb is one of the loyal ones.  Lucky for Harry.


What was your first reaction when you got a glimpse of your cover art?
I’m weird about cover art.  On one hand there is always something thrilling about seeing it and my publisher was actually kind enough to let me be part of the process and I am very happy with it.  On the other hand; because I am a horror writer at heart, I always kind of smirk at romance covers…I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance in my life!  Dracula is the closest I’ve come…well, there was that one Danielle Steele novel…





Now for the fun stuff.  Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I’m a bit of a Hedonist…everything I do is geared towards guilty pleasure…lol


Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
I worked as a female phone sex operator my last two years of college!




If you didn’t have to worry about counting calories or fat, what’s the first food you’d reach for?
Cherry Cheesecake



As an author, what makes a book great in your eyes?
Staying power; I am a big reader and have read a ton in my life but there are only a handful that have stuck with me, that ability to stick with someone for years, that makes a great book.
"A Valentine for Evrain"  the story that caused the stir...


If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend they start with and why?
I want to say “A Valentine for Evrain.”  It’s my personal favorite but it’s incredibly rough and sexual, so be warned!


What are you working on now that your readers can look forward to? Will we get to see more of Reb and Harry in the future?
I’m working on two novellas right now; one is a paranormal Father’s Day romance and the other is an erotic cop small town drama, you won’t want to miss either of these!  As for Harry and Reb, I don’t know what I have in store for them…you’ll have to wait and see!


What are your goals for 2011?
To keep writing, dreaming and loving.


Where can readers find you on the web?


Get it HERE



Thanks for spending a bit of time with me and answering my questions. Best wishes for your continued success. 
Thanks so much…and you too!















 Sneak Peek Excerpt from Dutch's Boy
Dutch’s Boy
Warning: 
This story contains:  Oral Cowboys, Wild Horses, Gun’s on Trains, Voyeuristic Masturbation, Sugar being used in a most suspect manner and Dangerous Horse Trainers with ulterior motives…Please be careful….

Xoxoxo
XA

Publisher: Seventh Window Publications
BUY:

Excerpt:
Blake’s eyes were deep gray, like river rock cold and appraising.  This was a man who had seen a lot and wasn’t afraid to take advantage if only for his own survival.

“You bring a gun with you, Harry?”

Harry drained his beer before responding, he had been trying not to look directly at Blake, but that familiar twinge between his legs was making it harder to look away.  Blake was not a bad looking guy; his eyes sparkled when he smiled, not unlike a snake Harry thought suddenly.  Blake’s skin was tanned, weathered, he had worked long and hard in the sun Harry guessed, and when Blake smiled, which was often,  Harry noticed the lines that formed by his gray eyes and the corners of his mouth.  Harry thought of Reb and the dream then, this wasn’t Reb but Harry wasn’t sure he would ever see Reb again and he was alone.

 “You alright, Harry?”

“Yeah fine, why?”

“Cuz I asked you if you brought a gun with you and you’re just staring at me like you’re mute or something.”  Blake scratched his stubbly cheek and took a final swig of his beer, those gray eyes still searching Harry.

“Yeah, um, yeah I brought something with me, they took it though, guess I ain’t as clever as you.” Harry nodded towards Blake’s waist.

Blake looked down to wear his gun was secured.  “You wanna see it?”

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Author Sunday - Christopher Koehler

This week I'll be reading Rocking the Boat by Christopher Koehler
Haven't started it yet but sounds really good!! I mean what's not to like, men, rowing team, bulging muscles, budding romance and hot sex between the sheets. What more could we want? Check out the blurb :)


Description:
Nick Bedford, closeted coach of California Pacific College’s men’s rowing team, is struggling with professional ethics. He denies his attraction to Morgan Estrada, a rower on the crew, though the heated glances between them drive Nick wild. Then Morgan makes a move... and though Nick panics, Morgan gets what he wants: Nick.


Safely assured that he’s not preying on a younger man, Nick gives in to his feelings for Morgan. They take pleasure in sharing their daily routine, and the sex sets the sheets afire. Everything seems perfect until an anonymous complaint is filed against Nick right before the biggest race of the year. It’s exactly what Nick has feared most—and it may be enough to capsize the fledgling relationship.

available now click HERE

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My turn!

Over the last couple of months I have turned my blog over to other authors. I have loved meeting, featuring and learning about each and every one of them. I feel honored that they have allowed me to do this and when I get a day to talk about what's going on with me I almost feel guilty about it, but a few people have asked what's going on with SJD so here ya go :)



So many great things have been happening recently, though I have to admit sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with just how big it is. Writing, editing, promoting, blog, deadlines, blurbs, cover art, characters who won't be quieted even though it's not their turn for their story to be told. Now don't get me wrong I'm not complaining in the slightest, it's just....well I'm trying to learn as I go and sometimes I don't always know when I've taken on too much until the panic starts to set in. I have to be reminded to breath and I get these really cool phone calls that "ease me away from the edge" and talk me down. Then I get back to what I love doing and that's telling stories.

Lorcan's Desire, my first novel and the first book in the Whispering Ranch Series, has gone through the first round of edits and I was surprised how easy the process was. Dreamspinner is so thorough and so professional that every suggestion or change they asked for improved the story without taking away from what I envisioned for Lorcan. It's still completely my story, my voice....only better :) I just got the edited blurb and sent it back and now looking forward to the next round of edits and getting cover art. (Yes Jase I'll send it the minute I get it ~wink~)
May is still the tentative release date though I don't have an exact date yet but will keep everyone posted

Oh yeah and some other great news. While doing the edits for Lorcan's Desire, the editor mentioned that the story felt a little unfinished at the end, I explained that it was because the next book Quinn's Need takes up where Lorcan's book ends. Dreamspinner asked if they could see the next book and so now I'm sitting patiently ( yeah right) to hear if they will also be telling Quinn's story. 





My novella "Simple" was picked up by Silver Publishing and I'm looking forward to starting the editing process and getting to know the authors over there better as well. I wrote simple after all the complexities in the characters in Whispering Ranch had me a little crazy. I wanted to write a simple love story. Funny thing is Love is never simple. Wait I should make that more clear. Humans make love and relationships complected and we tend to make it more difficult than it needs to be. And yes, if we stop trying to find the motives or the reasons behind why it works, why it's easy then we might find that love is really just that Simple.

 Let's see....how about a shameless brag. Back in November my friend says to me...you have to go check out what the M/M group on Goodreads is doing for Christmas you should sign up. So me the fool I am went and looked, found a picture that someone wanted a story written about to "Stuff My Stocking." and fell in love with it. A story instantly popped into my head. Then I seen the names of who was all writing for this anthology, but it was too late, I had already signed up. My first reaction was to puke, the second was to spank Jase for getting me into this mess. No way in hell did I belong in that class of talent! I'm thinking I'm going to make a complete and utter fool of myself. However, I did sign up and I did commit to it so I was going to see it through. I wrote Masters and Boyd based on this picture.

Yesterday I was reading the reviews for Stuff My Stocking and came across an amazing review for my story. The reviewer said that she couldn't write a review for each and every one of the 25 stories since in her opinion her review was already long enough. What she did was review her top 10 favorite stories. Here is what she said about Masters and Boyd...

Masters And Boyd – SJD Peterson – 5+ stars

Jesus this was hot. This is the story of Carrick and his slave on holiday. It is a shining example of how the best BDSM scenes are written – between two people who trust each other, as shown by the interactions and aftercare after the sex. What I really enjoyed about this was how the writer showed us just how difficult it is to stay in control as a Top – that although it always looks like the bottom is getting the worse deal, there is more than enough torture to go round in sex games. This was a hot little story that has made me go searching for more books by this author. 



Not only did this reviewer pick Masters and Boyd as one of her top ten favorites, she gave it the highest rating. (Yeah I know I'm still in shock too) The entire review can be read HERE,
If you haven't read the anthology you can pick up a free copy HERE 


So that's what's been happening in my life recently. I'm still working on Quinn's Need to make it the best it can be. I've got the outline done for the next in the series Ty's Obsession started. Yummy inspirational picture for Ty huh? 
Lot's of great features coming up on the blog that will be keeping me super busy. Rick Reed will be the featured guest and playing "So you think you're smarter than a multi-published author" with us in April and Andrew Grey will be playing along in May. Some amazingly talented authors will be featured every Thursday and Friday and ton's of New Authors for New Author Sunday will be featured. I'm booked up until September with the New Author thingy and looking forward to adding some new favorites to my list!!
If you have a favorite author you'd like to suggest for New Author Sunday drop me an email or leave a comment and I'll add it to my list if I haven't already read anything by them!!  Have an Amazing weekend and Make sure you stop by tomorrow to see who's work I'll be reading this week!!!




Friday, March 25, 2011

Sneak Peek Excerpt from Per Ardua by Jessie Blackwood

Book Excerpt: This is the first morning after Jack has been invalided back home after the crash. Ifan has offered to become his caregiver and Jack is testing the water, as it were. Ifan ends up explaining why he does what he does.

“IFAN?”
“Yes, sir”
“Lose the—”
“The ‘sir’, yes, I’m sorry, Jack. I am trying. You’re asking me to break the habit of a lifetime. I hope you know that.”
Jack was grinning at him. “S’okay,” he said. “Sorry, but I need a pee.” His eyes were dancing.
“Right, how do you normally do one?”
“Well, I use the same thing you do.”
Ifan rolled his eyes in exasperation. “I meant,sir, do you want the toilet, the chamber pot, or a bottle?” he asked stoically.
“Gee, I get a choice? Okay, okay.” He grinned, seeing that Ifan looked as if he’d prefer to bash him on the head with something heavy, maybe even the chamber pot itself if he was unlucky. “I just need help to get to the toilet, that’s all.”
Ifan positioned the wheelchair beside the bed and pulled the covers back. “Right. We may as well get you undressed now. You can put your dressing gown on.” And he threw the garment across the bed in readiness. It was a joint effort to get Jack’s nightshirt off and the dressing gown on, but they managed it. Ifan saw the puckered burn scarring across Jack’s arm and shoulder and grimaced at the damage. Jack caught his expression and shrugged. “Just skin,” he said without bitterness. “It’s not like anyone’s going to see it once I’m dressed.” And he shrugged on the dressing gown and allowed Ifan to lift his legs over the edge of the bed for him. “I was one of the lucky ones,” he added thoughtfully. Too many young pilots had been horribly disfigured that way.
Ifan had to support Jack as he used the toilet. There simply was no other way. All Ifan needed to do was make sure Jack didn’t fall off, but he still had to be present during what was usually a rather intimate process. He wasn’t embarrassed by it. It simply had to be done. Jack spent the time making crude jokes, and Ifan rolled his eyes in response, but Jack was grateful for his pragmatic attitude.
Once that was done with, Ifan sat Jack down in front of the mirror and gave him a shave that Ifan’s father would have been proud of. Emlyn Griffith had taught his son very well. Ifan could see Jack relaxing, allowing himself to unwind. Even although Jack had pointed out that he was capable of shaving himself, Ifan knew it was a process he could effect far more easily, and it would make it far more pleasant for Jack. He would show the man what it meant to be properly cared for. He then proceeded to trim the unruly dark hair, returning it to neat and tidy shortness in no time.
“You’re a miracle worker, Ifan,” Jack said, smoothing a hand along his jaw and surveying the results in the mirror.
“I had a good teacher.”
“What did he teach you?”
“Everything he knew. Left school when he was twelve, ran errands for a friend of my grandfather’s, who just happened to be a barber who worked at the Turkish baths. That man taught my tad everything he knew. By the time he was fifteen, my tad was cutting hair and trimming beards, and he knew how to shave a man properly before he could grow a beard himself. He also learned a lot from one of the masseurs who worked there.”
“That sounds good. Don’t suppose he taught you that too?”
“Yes, he did, as a matter of fact.”
“Really?” Jack’s eyebrows rose expressively.
Ifan sighed. “Time to get you bathed first.”
Jack had to brace himself with his arms along the edge of the bath while Ifan washed the bits he couldn’t reach. He sighed with pleasure as the heat soaked into his muscles. He had to admit, even though he hated being so dependent, he was enjoying being cared for. Ifan was gentle and thorough. The young man possessed a pair of strong and capable hands, the fingers long and graceful. He handled Jack with gentle ease, his touch firm and careful, like the rest of him, Jack found himself thinking. He quickly curbed that line of thought and turned to other, albeit equally unsettling, thoughts.
“I don’t get you, Ifan Griffith,” Jack said as Ifan was applying the towel to drying his arm. He was sitting on the bedroom chair swathed in towels as Ifan dried him off.
“What don’t you ‘get’ about me?”
“This whole ‘serving’ thing, this submission bullshit….”
“Firstly, do not confuse service with submission. That’s a common error,” Ifan said, toweling the other arm. “Because I have chosen to devote my life to service doesn’t mean I’ll do anything you tell me to. Lift your arm a little. That’s it. I’m not in the army, and I don’t take orders blindly. Submission implies total subservience, which is not what this is about.”
“So what is it about? You’re a butler. Bronwen gives you an order, you do it, don’t you?”
“Not quite. There’s a relationship between employer and employed, between a butler and his master and mistress. They have a duty to me as I have to them.”
Jack’s eyebrows rose quizzically, and Ifan struggled to put into words what it meant to do a seemingly subservient job. “They give me a lot of responsibility as well, you know,” he explained. “They trust me to run their home. I make sure it is kept comfortable, clean, and safe for them and their children to live in. I make sure the staff know what they are doing. I make sure the family is fed properly, not to mention kept warm and dry. If the coal runs out, it’s my fault. If the food is poor, it’s my fault. If the bedrooms are untidy, it’s my fault. Ultimately the welfare of this family is on my shoulders.”
“That’s a lot to take on.”
Ifan smiled. “I’m happy to,” he said. “Bronwen’s mother was an elegant, kind, and gentle person. None better,” he said firmly. “My own mother died when I was ten years old, and my father already had the job with the major here. They gave me a room, allowed us to live in. In summer I helped on the farm. In winter I helped my tad. I ran errands, cycled into the village to collect things. Mary Aubrey actually taught me to play piano and to ride a horse. Bronwen and I grew up together, went to school together. I’m more than happy to repay the daughter for the actions of her mother. I owe this family a debt of gratitude. When I was old enough, I took the job of footman when it was offered in an effort to repay some of that debt. The rest you know.”
“But is this all you aspire to?”
“All?” Ifan was incredulous. “Why should I aspire to anything else? There is nothing wrong with devoting yourself to making sure someone else is comfortable, safe, and well cared for. I look after the family. I keep them warm and well fed. I take pride in doing it well. Besides, isn’t that what marriage is? A form of service? It’s a kind of love, I suppose,” he said. “The master and mistress would never ask me to do anything that I wasn’t happy to do. A good employer has that responsibility to his staff. A good employer would never ask his staff to do anything that went against the grain. Likewise, a good employee should never refuse a reasonable request.”
“So what if you get a bad employer?”
“There are some out there,” Ifan admitted. “Nobody is perfect. Some people treat their servants like shit…. Sorry, sir.”
“Don’t apologize….”
“And don’t call you ‘sir.’ Yes, I know.” He huffed a small laugh, toweling Jack’s hair vigorously. “Unfortunately the system is not perfect. Some servants have a bad time, especially in the cities. Mrs. Redfern has some stories, I can tell you. They’d make your hair curl…. We’re lucky here. Mr. and Mrs. Powell are very good to us, very good.”
“I know you’re kind, Ifan, but I still don’t get why you’d want to serve other people.”
“Why did you enlist?”
The question caught him off guard. “I guess… because I saw a cause worth fighting for, to protect the country of my birth, to keep the people I love safe.”
“I rest my case,” Ifan said gently.

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