Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday - The Assignment

Detective Nicholas Valenti, tall, dark and stoic, has been best friends with his partner, Sean O’Brian for six years. The two men have seen each other through divorce, disaster and danger and saved each other’s asses more times than Valenti can count. Exactly when he started seeing his blond, intense partner in another light, Valenti isn’t really sure. He only knows that he wants O’Brian in a way that had nothing to do with friendship and everything to do with possession. It is a desire he will have to hide forever because O’Brian is undeniably straight.

Just as Valenti is coming to grips with his new, unacceptable feelings for his partner their police Captain puts them on a new case that could blow Valenti’s cover once and for all. He and O’Brian are going undercover at the country’s largest and most infamous gay resort to bust a notorious drug lord and stop the shipments of poison cocaine that are flooding the gay bars all over the city.

Now Valenti will have to make a choice between friendship and desire. He and O’Brian will play the roles of gay men that will push the limits of their relationship to the breaking point. Will their time at the RamJack forge a new bond between them or destroy their partnership forever?

Check it out HERE

I read this book in August 2010 and had this to say....

" First M/M romance book I ever read and Evangeline Anderson was brilliant in her story telling. Because of her I now read nearly a new M/M romance book every other day. Would recommend this book to anyone."

This was my first MM Romance, do you remember yours?  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Beating Word Into Submission, part 1: Keyboard Shortcuts

For today’s writing tip, I am going to do something magical. I am actually going to give you time back in your day. Yes, really. How am I going to do that? Glad you asked.

Did you know that every time you move your hand from the keyboard to the mouse in order to point and click, it takes you almost half a second to simply move your hand? Then it takes you another second to move the mouse to where it needs to go, another quarter second to click the mouse button, and that’s not even counting if you have to move the mouse multiple times and make multiple clicks to do what you want or the time it takes to move your hand *back* to the keyboard. That’s anywhere from 1-5 extra seconds every single time you shift between keyboard and mouse. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but if you multiply that over hours and days and weeks--do the math. Then multiply it by a even a nominal hourly rate. That is money you are wasting.

I have come to be known as a bit of a Word Ninja, and it is true that my version of Word has been so hacked with macros and custom shortcuts that it only somewhat resembles the product that came out of the box. (Well, okay, the virtual box.) I have custom shortcuts and macros to automate common sets of actions, form letters I type over and over, etc. On a future WTW, I will share some of the more complicated macros and stuff to improve your writing, but for now, I am going to give part 1: Keyboard Shortcuts.

(Before I keep going, a couple of technical notes:
1 - The shortcuts below all work on Windows. Many of the same ones work on the Mac as well, only substituting the CMD key for the CTRL key, but not all of them. But that’s okay. Google is your friend.
2 - The + sign in the key sequences below mean press Key1 PLUS Key2 at the same time. So CTRL + C means press CTRL and, while still holding it down, press the C key as well.)

For some of you this will be old hat, but for the rest of you, start with a couple of keyboard shortcuts today. Use them over the next week and learn them well. I would recommend first getting comfortable using the arrow keys to move around your document, followed by combining the arrow keys and the SHIFT keys to select text to work on. Once you are comfortable selecting text, use CTRL + X, CTRL + C, and CTRL + V, which are Cut, Copy, and Paste, respectively. Next, learn CTRL + B and CTRL + I, which are Bold and Italics. CTRL + F opens the Find dialog, CTRL + H opens with Find and Replace dialog, and CTRL + G opens the Goto dialog, which will allow you to jump straight to a page without scrolling or hitting Page Up over and over (and over and over…) If you know all those (and yes, I realize a good many of you out there do), review the other available shortcuts and pick some that might serve you well based on your writing style.

For example: Want to insert a page break? That’s CTRL + ENTER
Do you use a lot of ellipses? That’s CTRL + ALT + PERIOD
How about em dashes? That’s CTRL + ALT + MINUS SIGN
Do your characters truncate their words and say things like ’til, ’em, and ’cause? Pressing CTRL + ’ + ’ will insert the apostrophe in the correct direction.

I am making available a cheat sheet I recently put together for a workshop that has all of these shortcuts listed plus many more. The list on the sheet is by no means every shortcut that is out there, but it’s the ones I find myself reaching for (pun intended) over and over. The shortcuts are mostly divided by type of function, but if the function isn’t where you expect on the sheet, you can blame Jo. She helped me categorize them.

As bonus tip, many of the commands that are simply the CTRL key plus a letter also work elsewhere in Windows (and MacOS). So not only have you saved time in your writing, but in other places as well. If you are interested in learning more shortcuts, simply google “Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts” and that will get you to the Microsoft lists. In a future WTW post I’ll tell you about how you can even customize your own shortcuts.

Happy writing.

Erika Orrick wanted to be a writer when she grew up, but detoured into computers when she realized she actually wanted to eat. Financial stability established, she eased her way back into storytelling by fixing other people’s words and discovered she had a knack. An admitted geek, she is constantly distracted from resuming her quest to be a writer by all the shiny. Luckily, since she hasn’t yet grown up, no one can say she hasn’t met her goal. She has tried (and failed) to escape Texas twice and in fact now lives on the north side of Houston, less than 100 miles from where she started.
Erika invites folks to contact her at

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Talk To Me Tuesday - Looking back.

I had no plans for my blog today and no matter how hard I tried, was completely brain dead. Couldn't think of a damn thing to talk about, which if you know me personally, that's saying A LOT! I'm sure it has to do with the cluster (you know what) going on in my head with all I have going and all I need to get done. Any hooooo I was looking through the blog trying to find inspiration and I found my very first post ever. It had a whooping nine views back in 2010. Wasn't all that exciting but what a yummy picture. :)

Last night I'm trying to finish up a novel and suddenly something pops into my head that had nothing to do with what I was doing. Yet everything to do with what I was doing. Writing. 
I clicked open a new page, started typing and this is what came out...(Simple)

The moment the world tilted on its axis, completely changing life as it had been known forever.  When understanding and peace come to mind, where before only confusion and turmoil were the words of the day. The instant when suddenly everything just falls into place. The perfect fit. The exact second when a heart shatters into a million tiny pieces, only to settle back into place, complete for the first time. When, an all-encompassing light surrounds a soul, touching it so deeply, that it leaves a permanent imprint behind. The first time true love is felt.
For Brycen James, it didn’t happen like it does on TV or on the Hollywood screen. There wasn’t a fancy set, cleverly written story lines or a multi-million dollar budget. No director taking control. No rehearsals, costumes or media fan fare. It was…
A passing glance…
A casual touch…

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back to the Grind - Hot Buttered Coffee

 Nothing better than a bowl of buttered popcorn when sitting back to watch your favorite movie. For me, there is nothing better than stretching out on the couch with a hot cup of buttered coffee and a good book. Check out these great recipes and may I suggest a hot and fluffy story to enjoy while sipping the yummy! 

When you fall for a fantasy, how do you know if it's more than make-believe?

Travis, an unquestionably straight college student, finds himself in a financial bind. He'll do anything legal - including going gay for pay - and spends a weekend as Craig Rocke, letting gay porn star Marston Cougar have his way with him on film. Marston tells him to remember it's all just a fantasy for the camera, even though it sure feels like more.

Gary, also known as Marston Cougar, has a respectable day job. A straight guy, he started out making gay porn to pay his way through college. After getting his heart broken he has a no-dating rule. Now paired with "virgin" Craig Rocke, he finds it hard to keep it make-believe when he's losing his heart.

Gary's young niece needs surgery, and he almost has enough money to quit for good. But now that he feels a true connection with his fantasy co-star, will he be able to find a happily ever after with him when it's more than make-believe?

Contains a modern fairy tale, hot manlove, movie magic, flipped perceptions, and a cranky three year-old who really wants her pizza.

Content Warning: Graphic language, sensual and explicit scenes of m/m sexuality including oral sex, anal sex/play, sex toys, public exhibition, group sex, and public sex.

Check it out HERE 

Hot Buttered Toffee Coffee


  • 4 ounces coffee mocha ice cream
  • 6 ounces hot coffee
  • 2 tablespoons butterscotch topping
  • 2 teaspoons almond liqueur
  • whipped topping
  • 1 tablespoon toffee pieces or 1 tablespoon chopped chocolate-covered english toffee bar


  1. Spoon ice cream into a large coffee mug;pour coffee, butterscotch topping and almond liqueur over ice cream.
  2. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle of toffee chips.

Hot Buttered Bouquet, Coffee


  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 5 -6 ounces freshly brewed jamaican coffee, steaming
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 18 teaspoon grated nutmeg


  1. Put butter in an Irish coffee glass or mug, then pour in the steaming coffee. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add clove and rum.
  3. Dust with nutmeg.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spotlight Sunday - Jacques N. Hoff

My father told me all about the birds and the bees. The liar. I went steady with a woodpecker until I was twenty-one. I now travel the world in search of the hottest peckers—in tandem with my best friend Simon Spoonwell and his blue jay partner Jay Azure. 

What you read here is all true. Well, at least in the world of UCPeckers it is. Wherever you see peckers, you may just find me there.

Peckers: Book One

Welcome to the avian shifter world of Undercover Peckers. Where love is instant the moment you find your mate. Where there’s only one true pecker for every man. Where the sex is so hot it will singe your tail feathers. Where bird-watching is both a recreation and a preoccupation—that usually leads to feathers flying.

Simon Spoonwell—intrepid bird store owner and history geek—knows avian shifters exist. With so much myth and lore, there must be a touch of reality. But he doesn't expect his proof to come in the form of hottie cop and blue jay shifter Jay Azure. It’s an innocuous ticket for jaywalking that brings them together, but an inescapable attraction, a love of awful puns, and a shared need to protect the vulnerable will make them true mates.

Peckers: Book Two

World-renowned avian vet Sebastian Grant is so sure bird shifters aren’t real that even when an unruly cockatoo named Louis ends up naked in his arms, it’s difficult for him to admit he’s not imagining it. Louis might be everything Sebastian has been looking for in a partner—funny, confident, sexy, and genuine—but there’s one major problem: Louis is a captive in a gilded cage. With the help of Simon, his blue jay partner, Jay, and the expanding team of Undercover Peckers, Sebastian finds out he’s willing to do anything to make sure Louis is able to fly free and cock strut to his heart’s content.

Peckers Book Three  (Coming soon)


Mickey, Keyser, Clyde… He goes by many names, calls many different countries home and has a wardrobe that would be the envy of most professional theater companies. But somedays it’s impossible to remember who he really is. It’s the price he pays for the adrenaline. For the art of the steal. He’s itinerant. The Masked Booby. A man torn between his instinct to survive, and his bird nature of taking a dive.
Irwin Stephens is in love. With life, his home, and the animals he watches over and cares for everyday at work. He doesn’t have a man to call his own, but the rest of his life is so perfect he sees no reason to complain. Except for the scratchy khaki uniform all zoos seem to require with fiendish glee.
When Booby meets Buff Zookeeper it should be a one night love nest, but something besides peckers are up in the land down under.

Check out his books HERE

Connect with Jacques:
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Welcome to the world of Undercover Peckers. Where love is instant the moment you find your mate.
Where there’s only one true pecker for every man. Where the sex is so hot it will singe your tailfeathers.

Where bird watching is both a recreation and a preoccupation—that usually leads to feathers flying. Let Simon and his avian shifter mate Jay lead you through this world of sinful and ridiculous exploration.