RWA 2021

Shit like this ( #RWA2012 ) always leaves me in a bit of an emotional state because the support is overwhelming. I’ve been a lone wolf for my ENTIRE CAREER as a Male Romance Author. I mean I’ve had help, soulmates who can and have helped, publishing industry folks who have helped (I’ve got a sub for you, Lori Perkins) and forwarded my career, but at the end of the day?Me and Kel

It’s me.

First off, let’s make this about me so I don’t start crying over how wonderful RWA was.

My class went swimmingly. It was pre-recorded because I’m a Johnny and I wanted to make them proud to have had me. I was able to chat in real-time with attendees and answer questions. Plus, they gave me some things to think about for my full-length Male POV class, and while in the shower, I had a few a-ha moments. But then again, my students are always great. The zoom Q/A portion was smooth once we figured out why I was upside down, but I apologize for being caffeinated. Next time, I’m going to do it with notes, and do it live. But, live and learn. Thanks to my moderator.

I had a packed schedule because this was my first time. I enjoyed the virtual aspect for numerous reasons but I’m hoping to be an in-person presenter next year. So many seminars, a lot of overlap because that’s writing. You need to understand characterization for Male POV, sexual tension, plot…etc. But the presenters were fun. Naimi Simone was a HOOT! OH! And did I mention I was able to talk to TWO of the women who inspired me to get into this business?

YES! Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rebecca York (Susan is a BLAST!) are romance authors I read when I first started and both gave some great information. Like, ya’ll know me. I’m the No. 1 badass Alpha. I own everything, I’m the G.O.A.T.

290720131673I log in and see S. E. P. and I’m like EEEEEE!!!!!!!!! It didn’t get any better with Rebecca York because again, EEEE!!!! SO COOL! So much for G.O.A.T. status LOL! I have a LOT to think about. A LOT to do this week.

OH! And HOPEFULLY, especially after seeing her talk, I get to cross a thing off my bucket list and work with Brenda Chin. I swore 18 years ago maybe?, I’d someday be someone she edited and taught. Plus, her talk was dope AF, as the kids say.

While the speakers were incredible, what was also cool was finding some folks who graduated before I did from the SAME HIGH SCHOOL! What are the odds?

In the past, I’ve done what I suppose I’ll consider “fuck off conventions.” Shit that strokes my ego. Sometimes literally…

Industry conventions I’ve always been an outsider to and even then, those made me emotional because I was there on business for Radio Dentata, but the overwhelming support can make even the hardest alpha (me) get in his feels. I’m possibly doing a FB Live this week and I’ll tell the story about Diane Whiteside, Kate Douglas and troublemaker, Treva Harte and how I almost lost my shit because again, MY heroes at an industry con were pushing me, welcoming me.

They had a tough job, the RWA staff. Did a damn fine job though.  And I couldn’t be busier even though it’s Thanksgiving week!  Add that in with all the work I have planned thanks to the wonderful folks at #RAM2021 and yeah, can you say busy as fuck author?

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Romance Author Mastermind 2021

And thus ends RAM 2021. It was hard, it was easy, it was fun, it was enlightening. It was another step in my career. It was another step forward.

It was progress.

It is new friendships.

It is one more step in learning how NOT to be a lone wolf in my career. Yes, I have my friends but I rarely reach out for actual fucking HELP. I simply don’t do that. I’ve done it here and there for releases and some brainstorming but never in the same capacity as other authors have approached me. I’m happy to help them, b the way. But I don’t know what I’m looking for.

I have my work wives (west coast and east coast) but “West Coast work wife” has a life and I don’t want to bother…and the east coast work wife is too busy with stonks LOL! Seriously though, I know it’s me. I JUST told the chat at RAM’s closing remarks you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. I’m a proud romance author. Do you know how many death metal concerts I could attend and how many fans of romance I’d find? Actually…a few. Many of the women into death metal or the subgenres are into PNR…I know “men should read sci-fi or fantasy or literary.”

First off, FUCK literary. It bores the FUCK out of me. Second, Have we met? My background is Hungarian and on top of that, I’m a goddamn CANCER so can you say HELLO EMOTIONAL TRAIN WRECK? LOL! Let’s feel ALL THE DAMN THINGS!

I owned the first 45 or so titles when Harlequin launched the now-defunct BLAZE line. I could identify with the sex (hello, male!) and then I was shown that there could be angst too. Julie Leto and JoAnne Rock were early inspirations. Cherry Adair too. So I started with Christine Feehan and Laurel K. Hamilton. I forgot who offhand, that it was but some author I read had characters that were FUCKEDUP. Might have been Kenyon’s Acheron (before his book), might have been JR Ward…no. Wait. Someone…was it Lora Leigh? I don’t remember. But those heroes were, screw flawed, they were FUCKED UP like I was. Yet they got a HEA.

Something I thought was NEVER possible. I know better now.

But I’ve been SCREAMING at emptiness as an author with the backlist, career length I have had for something to…I don’t know? Fix my shit? The wrong tactic, wrong though, I know. I have a better idea now that I’ve been thinking about this in terms of how I move. One of the presenters talked about your personality type and while that shifts, the thing is? You are your…past inspirations isn’t quite the right terminology for it, but you are the product of what you have been given. What I have been given was authors who worked old school, 20 years to a career when success hit and it ‘felt’ like overnight, but it wasn’t. It was rejection after rejection to the point where many of my heroes could wallpaper their houses with the letters of rejection. I was lucky. I only have rejections from agents and not even that many. But they played the long game, the marathon. I never thought being a long-distance runner in high school would have the implications on my mindset that it has, but here I am. Twenty years later, bitching, but not quitting. Screaming, but not giving up. Or maybe I’m screaming NOT to give up. The jury is out on that currently. But I have a lot of things to consider that relate to my last post, courtesy of RAM.

But I suppose if I had to name this feeling, I’d say I’m feeling raw. Exposed, because I let loose a few tears at the closing remarks. Skye talked about our Hero’s Journey and how we’ve gone through it. She would be 100% right. I don’t like this though. It’s open, too open.

But I know better internally. (also, I should probably eat something. Bulletproof coffee is good but…)

RAM was a touch base with a few authors I’ve known along the way. RAM was pissing me off because Lucy Score’s keynote was pissing me off because she was RIGHT and I HATE crying. Hell, years ago at TNEE I met a woman who owned my ENTIRE BACKLIST and would have lost my shit if not for my Beautiful Crone being there…because I’m grateful for every fan. Every single one.

RAM was a wonderful event and a chance to grow.

RAM was incredible.

RAM was intense.

Now, RAM is over and I can go outside with a cigar and a beer…or ask the younger lover for us to get a bottle of wine (I still have Goulash, power move, stew the weekend of the virtual conference!) for tonight and I can process. Because these are my people. And like my fans, I’m grateful for each and every single one of you. Thank you Skye, Becca, et. al.

I can tie this back into passion. Upset isn’t the right word, confusion? No…new friend Xio Axelrod, may be able to articulate how I might feel about shit that moves us? Shit we’re passionate about?

My last long-form post mentioned cigars and alcohol and those two industries keep telling me I belong with them. When I fell on hard emotional times, Tastytrade (brokerage) had my back. Going forward, they support my trading with responsible emails and a lot of snark. I dig that shit.

I wonder what the wonders of RWA Nationals will reveal when I’m a presenter in two weeks. I can only imagine. So, I’m following my passion. Now it’s time to plan. Tuesday. After the house is cleaned on Monday. Because it’s a warzone…and well after First Call.

As Strongman Brian Shaw says, “Be great.”

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Rabbit Rabbit! (Or, Change in the House of Wolves)

I know, this is hella late but I was in Reno for a wedding. The only other person I’ve known longer than Lover Mine was a buddy of mine who I’ve known since 2nd Grade. Last year during our bullshit power outage here at the apartment, he’d IM’d me on Facebook and asked if I’d be his best man. Naturally, I’m THE best man, so hellz yeah I accepted.

Before I left, I finished the first novel I’ve written from scratch since Lover Mine passed away. I’m pretty happy with the progress; it tops out at just over 91,000 words. It’s fairly complicated but the edits will make it better. From a technical standpoint, I love how it came together and the plot worked out so it’s a more complex story than you’re used to getting from me. I feel like the characters are deeper, the plot more clever, and the story is my most solid to date.img_0761

I can’t remember when but I did start a project for the Harlequin Desire line. A friend of mine I had mentioned in this video talked about me writing for HQN and that’s been a dream of mine since my early days as an erotica author. I’ve taken stabs in the past but something always derailed me.

No more. In personal news, we’re moving soon, probably to Charlotte or Asheville NC. More on the personal why later, but the apartment complex I live in is a shit hole. Like Detroit. Or Portland. And the investor who bought the property with good intentions of turning it into luxury living either has shithead people working for him, he made a bad investment and can’t find financing, bought the COVID nonsense for too long, hell. No one knows. But they are not currently renewing leases and it feels like they’re trying to empty the complex out.

I love Atlanta but have very little in the way of ties here. I have wonderful memories, my first apartment alone, lot of experiences I wouldn’t trade for the world. Even the negative ones. But in the last few months, a few things have been made clear to me.

I said I was going to go back into IT so I could generate all this cash for ads, self-publishing, a better life. Honestly, I put $10 into a course I would recommend for those going after their Cisco CCNA, and too many wasted hours. I put more wasted hours on Professor Messor’s site trying to get down shit I learned when I was 19 years old while spending another $50 plus shipping on a CompTIA book for that certification.

It’s been almost six months and as my beautiful and perspicacious Crone said to me on a recent phone call, “You wanted it that bad, you’d have done it by now.” She knows I sink my teeth into things I want to do. I’ve been feeling like, man. Fuck, I need to get back to those things but I really need to finish the HQN novel by end of year, and I needed to finish Addicted to You (Remix) as well. I NEEDED that. Badly. No, the death of #OwnHerHeart didn’t stop my writing, but it didn’t help. I spent time going over old shit, rewriting old shit, editing old shit, looking at old shit with fresh (read: drunk or hungover sometimes) eyes, wasting time, wishing, wanting. In short, being fucking USELESS as a writer. Sure, I worked at the cigar shop, but I can’t remember if I was writing while at Bhojanic or not. The only thing I know of is that I did an interview for Elle Greco that can be found on Spotify here. Elle, sorry I didn’t push this more once you sent me the link. But before my heart surgery, I had started Addicted to You, wrote the first 20k, and thought, fuck this shit. The heroine isn’t going to work for me. But I was writing like I used to. Then, surgery, cigar events, recovery, some hard lessons, and back to the grind with a new heroine. Anastasia works for me in ways that Lisa couldn’t but I’ll detail that later.

Saint in Sinners Eyes-HighRes

Saint in Sinner’s Eyes – A spy protecting shapeshifters. A rogue operative targeting a high profile crime boss. When worlds collide, will either escape with their life in tact?

Between doctor visits, life shit, more doctor visits for both younger lover and me; the novel dragged on but I made progress. Daily when I could, but as frequent as possible when I couldn’t. Then, I’d finished it in mid-October.

Before I finished that novel, I’d had a chance to work for the folks at ATL Cigar Co. They did an event launching the Magic, a wonderful, medium to full-bodied, full-flavored cigar that blew my mind when I was given a sample. The message I was hearing after talking to many people I knew was becoming clear with each cigar event I did.

You see, I kept asking to stay in Cigars and Alcohol – things I’m passionate about. Things I know like the back of my hand. I told Peter of ATL Cigar Co., “Dude if you can find a way to help me stay in this industry, I’d be in your debt.” Actually, I think I said, “Keep me here, don’t let me go into fucking IT!”

My baby Crone is right. A move to NC has different opportunities and it is a cigar/alcohol friendly state.

By the way, for comparison: Know how much I spent on my writing career so far? Honest investments.

  • $420 for Amazon Ad School
  • $700 for Romance Author Mastermind (this weekend, yaassss girl!)
  • $450 for e-book covers and print covers for The Bodyguard and Saint in Sinner’s Eyes, along with FB banner/ad stuff/cover art for Riding Tempest.
  • $600 (I’m guessing, I know it was a lot) for Skye Warren’s FB Ads for Romance authors.
  • $200 on FB ads during the month-long Skye Warren class
  • $400 (maybe? rounding up) for Amazon Ads over a year and a half.
  • $100 on Scrivener for two laptops, my iPhone and iPad

This doesn’t account for money spent on books for research or craft.  Or tech.  Like the $1,000 upgraded iPad Pro 4th Gen because my 1st Gen was dying.  Or the $200 Logitech keyboard/case so I wouldn’t have to lug my HP around if I wanted to edit/write.

And I plan for more. IT was a quick fix because it is my background.  But can you see what I’ve done?  For once, having the capital, I put it where my fucking heart is.  I have personal reasons for going back into IT as well, but my Crone said “that’s all bullshit.”  And she’s right.  You can see my priorities based on where my money is spent.

Oh, and let’s not forget that I submitted a bunch of short stories to Decadent Publishing.  We’re working on cover art for Paula’s Craving under MY name.  Edits are complete already.

I’ve put a few feelers out in Asheville and Charlotte for bar gigs and cigar lounges to hang out and work at.  There are some possibilities.  No promises, but I’m putting in the work now and even working part time would give me time and capital to work with toward my publishing career.  Don’t worry, I’m still trading. Steady capital will help that too.  I made money in 2020 and only fucking Blackberry blew most of my account out.  I was greedy a week later, probably sure I mentioned this in another post.

I have to catch some lectures from Romance Author Mastermind this weekend.  With my career, one truth prevails.

I’m all in.

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A Quick Five

For those of you on my email list, do ya’ll remember when I tried to copy Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Fridays? That’s hard to do when you are low income LOL! Things have changed since the move, since the surgery, life has been more abundant and I’m definitely grateful. This year I’ve embarked more into my Witchy side, which, for many of you, may seem out of context but really? Have ya’ll READ my novels? LOL!

Kel Kitty!

This won’t entirely be a list of “five things I’m discovering” per se, but just a random shit I’m picking up because it has helped some aspect of my life. Be it biohacking or the kitties, some aspect of my life has been improved by a little research because hey, Google is your friend, right?

Ya’ll know as I’ve mentioned before, we have kitties. Honestly, I’m a dog person but having these two little babies in my life has been a godsend. While I’m getting back into my physical fitness, I still have a split stairwell to haul things up. Groceries, no problem because it’s a one and done trip with bags in one hand and it’s old hat because of my old apartment. The younger lover however, saw a better solution with Chewy for us to get cat stuff. Their customer service is incredible. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve made money on the stock! They cater to our picky cats and honestly? The way we stock up, it won’t hurt for them to send us a bulk order once every few months. I’m not a Strongman so I’m not trying to carry 50 lb. bags of cat litter up the stairs like they’re Atlas Stones. (yet!)

Even though I’ve cut my drinking down by about 75% or so, I still take N-Acetyl Cysteine. I know it’s being removed from a lot of retailers because the FDA has their heads up their asses. It has other benefits outside of liver repair and is a building block for glutathione. That’s a very important building block for our mitochondria if you’re following Dave Asprey’s education. Ever since I started trying to redesign my life, I’ve dug deeper into aspects of biohacking because when it’s all said and done from this perspective, I want to write better and better stories. I need my mind to be at its peak because the type of work I’m creating lately, I feel is just better. I was picking up my pills from Puritan but they stopped carrying it. Luckily, iHerb still carries NAC. Pretty thrilled about the prices too. I’ve been adding extra vitamins to my regimen as of late because I have no desire to grow odd and die. I’d rather grow and call it on my own.

Da Ember Libertad!

I’ve been a fan of bulletproof coffee for the last two years and it’s really made a huge difference in my productivity, especially since the surgery. IF I had to swear by one inexpensive product or component of the bulletproof coffee as I make it, it would be the coffee alone, only because the brain octane is a highly concentrated version of coconut oil and has a tendency to screw my stomach up if I don’t drink my coffee slowly. But the mushroom coffee alone? Four-Sigmatic’s THINK with Lion’s Mane and Chaga would be it. For heart patients, depending on (and I’m not a licensed physician) would be the way to go. I’ve put the powder into brownies and other baked goods and really enjoyed the mental boost. It’s been cool because when I WAS more self-destructive, I felt the enhancements and really lamented the days when I didn’t have it. But now? Well, it’s amazing to sit down for the two to three hours a day and put out quality words on the page because I’m hoping to level up. I have a lot to share as I’ve stated, and there’s even an upcoming Youtube video or three detailing the new work, along with some plans for the future.

Harney and Sons tower of Tea, gourd, bombilla, and Annapark Yerba Mate!

Lastly, I don’t do this every afternoon as much as I’d like, but I’ve gotten more into tea. The Pu-Erh is actually a low level nootropic, which I didn’t know until I’d read more on it. And I know there are a plethora of tea blenders and retailers and all that, but I’m new to this. I’m not sure I’ve noticed a huge difference in productivity and the other thing about the Pu-erh I’m drinking now is that my current roster includes a much more complex version than what I used to pick up from an Asian market in the Bay Area. To be fair, when I first moved here, the older lover sent me a pound of yerba mate and I was literally drinking a pot a day because it was the only nootropic I had access to. Remind me one day, I’ll have to post a video here about the day I ended up with a pot of mate and then one of the girlfriends sent me a sample of mushroom coffee. It was fucking hilarious!

I know, I know, it wasn’t a quick five, it was more a diatribe. I promise, more relevant stuff coming. OH! Wait, I DO have publisher news of sorts. First off, Decadent Publishing has picked up a number of my older titles that no longer had homes since a particular publisher didn’t tell me they were closing their doors and I had all my rights back. Second, I’m in the process of obtaining cover art for the print version of Saint in Sinner’s Eyes. That’ll be up for sale on Amazon soon.

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Three Months! or I Don’t WANT to Write an Original Post!

Apparently, not everything I post on Facebook is always long form LOL!

Really, I pulled the idea from my older Love, seeing her longform posts on thought and heart. That’s not entirely me, the heart portion anyway. I’m the thinking man’s Cancer LOL!

You’re wondering the three month mark?

Afib IV

May 5th I had my Ablation surgery to rid myself of Atrial Fibrillation. For those not familiar with the heart ailment, it’s an irregular and rapid heart rhythm that while not always a permanent state of being, tends to make life difficult. The heart is literally forcing itself to work harder to pump blood through the body, even when it registers as fine. Ask any woman I’ve had a long term relationship with about how tired I was because the fact that I wasn’t in afib and she’ll tell you about the amount of times I would do simple things, walking, hanging out in warmer or cooler temperatures, drinking whiskey in the summer, or even having sex and she’ll tell you that all of those things either had potential to send me to the ER or at the very least, bench me for several hours while I recovered. I was diagnosed at age twenty and in the ER for three days while they monitored me and I found myself seeing a cardiologist in Clear Lake, TX until I switched to a new doc in Livermore back in 2005 and again to a new doctor here back in 2016.

Add to that the fact that my relationship with alcohol and cigars didn’t hurt me, but it didn’t help and even if I’d have quit both completely? Ask me how many times I woke up from a nightmare and woke up in afib. More than once, let’s just say that. January 7th of 2020, I woke up in afib around 9:30 something. Sometimes that can be slept off and the heart will self-correct. Sometimes strenuous (read sexy personal times) can jolt it back into sinus rhythm but the only change I made that week was taking a week off from drinking. I ended up having to go to the ER because the older lover pushed. Worse? She made me tell the younger lover (since she’s actually local) and around 1 AM Wednesday, I came home, ate, and went back to bed after having put in most of a full day at half speed because walking from one room to the other made me tired.

Nightmares. Think about that for a moment. A fucking Nightmare sent me into atrial fibrillation.

I struggled with the concept of ablation because it was literally a surgery they developed right around the time I was diagnosed. What they do is essentially go into the heart with a catheter, find the faulty pathways and either burn or freeze the faulty pathways in your heart, forcing your heart to actually use the ones that work.

Kel (brought home in May) and Ember (rescued stray a few months later)

Back in April of this year I was at my cardiologist and he’d threatened to take me off my pills which, I said no. Without them, I’m exhausted. I miss one and bam, I might as well shelf the day because I have just enough energy to take care of myself and ‘maybe’ pour a drink. He suggested the procedure and gave a recommendation to a doctor. I went, saw the Electrophysiologist and instantly liked him. I mean what’s not to like about a guy who asks “How do you have two girlfriends?” and grins when I said “Welcome to America!” You should have heard our exchange the day of surgery!

After that was approved, I found myself at Monday Night Brewery for an ATL Cigar Co. event and talked to a guy who had the surgery thirteen years earlier. He had his energy, his body was in good shape, everything was positive so I felt better.

Full disclosure: I’m pretty much on the Carnivore/Bulletproof/Wildfit diet so food isn’t an issue. And until I cut back on my drinking, sweets weren’t a thing. I know, I know…replacement therapy. Piss off! At least I understand WHY (Chocolate and alcohol have a similar effect on the brain.)

Palms D'Or

But on May 5th, this all ended. Twenty years of no energy. Twenty years of self-abuse I didn’t know was caused by a lack of blood flow and oxygen. Twenty years struggling with what I thought were mental issues I refused to treat outside of my normal because fuck that. Apparently, I’ve been labeled stubborn. Pfft.

Gone. Suffering. Gone.

Anguish (yes, it can even at my level cause that) gone.

Weakness. Gone.

Wolf Mode: Activated.

And after surgery, I was able to come back full swing, Full MOTHAPHUKIN’ H.A.M. The heat doesn’t bother me as much anymore, I don’t require the AC to be cranked at the shop when it’s above 85 outside and I’m either working (with a cigar) or just hanging out (again, with a cigar!) I don’t have to watch what I drink when because of the temperature. I still do it because I did cut back by choice. The walk from my apartment (it’s a quarter mile longer now) to MARTA doesn’t make me feel like utter shit.

In short, I have my life back. It’s been three months since surgery and I still feel like a million dollars. What’s that mean for you? It means that it’s taken me a lot longer to get a novel written because there’s been a LOT of doctor stuff all around (no, not covid nonsense) and house stuff and two new kitties (one back in May, one we just brought in from the street) and creation of a path back to writing/trading. My next post will share something from the Demon/Human PNR I started just after surgery.

Honestly? I don’t think I felt this good in my teens. Here’s to life, to joy, to promises and experiences, all before I turned 43, and the aftermath of the decision I made.

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Rabbit Rabbit!

Good news, and better news! On May 5th, I had ablation surgery to correct my Afib – atrial fibrillation. That murmur/ irregular heartbeat has been causing me all manner of issues for the last 22 years. I had no idea just how bad it was until the weekend after the surgery and I woke up having energy.

Like, full the fuck on, I’m ready to tackle the fucking day and if you get in my way I will end you, energy. I didn’t realize it had ties to my mental state, either. The short version of what they do is they run a catheter through my femoral vein all the way to the top of my heart (as was explained to me) and then burn/freeze arteries they feel are the ones misfiring/causing the problem. Then, the heart is forced to re-route the electrical impulses to arteries that don’t skip or misfire.I woke up out of surgery with a shit ton of blood around my groin, major bruising, and wondered where the party was…and the nurse attending me told me it was me, I was the party, I was like…cool. Can I go home now?

Nope. Four hours of flat on my back. Younger girlfriend had my iPhone but because of nerves, I spent a lot of my battery pre-surgery trying to trade corn or soybeans or something. I mean shit, this is heart surgery…I see the electrophysiologist nurse assistant on the 3rd (so in two days) and hopefully, I can get the all-clear to start lifting kettlebells again and doing basic home maintenance shit like taking out the fucking trash. I did a pre-emptive strike on this surgery though. I put back into my diet Vitamin C, D, Zinc, Calcium, D, and N-Acetyl Cysteine to ramp up my body’s healing abilities. Oh, and I’ve resumed drinking my bulletproof coffee in the mornings.

Oh, and hopefully they’ll also take me off ALL my heart meds. The EV put me on eliquis for a month. I hate it. I had my first drink since May 2nd, on the 19th at the ATL Cigar event and HALF a damn Sour/Saison made me a little tipsy. Plus, bruising I can’t explain because of the fucking blood thinner.

I’m back though. The week after surgery, I hit the ground running, pulling up Scrivener to tear apart the plot of Riding Myst, the second novel in the Undead Souls MC series. I wanted to make sure the plot is as good as possible, or tighten it up so it is a better book. I wrote it almost two years ago and for the last two years, I’ve been drifting in and out of “fuck you, life.” Some of you may remember when I threatened back in2018 to quit writing. I’ll tell you what that was. Disappointment with my performance, disappointment in my ability to earn, and lackluster sales. That was a GREAT part of why I pondered it. 2019 was the first year I didn’t receive a SINGLE royalty check from anyone, including, I’m pretty sure, the few pennies I still get from Totally Bound. It’s disheartening, to say the least.

Fast forward past all the shit to March of 2021 and my cardiologist suggests the ablation surgery. I don’t know if it was somehow my Crone’s pushing, or I’m just tired of the pills and lack of energy, or what. It could be a combination of factors, but I said “fuck it. Let’s do this shit.”In the middle of breaking down scene by scene, “Riding Myst,” I received an acceptance letter from the folks at Decadent Publishing. Paula’s Craving, the re-work of the very first romance novel 16-year-old me wrote is getting a new home. There may be more involved with Decadent because I did send them something like 9 titles but we’ll see! Then, last week I picked up Addicted to You (Remix) again and managed to solidify Adrian’s character traits.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a fuck ton of romance novels. Mostly Cynthia Eden’s Wilde Ways series, but I finished the Circle Trilogy from Queen Nora (Roberts!) and picked up the Sign of Seven series. I’ve gone through some cowboy stuff from Em Petrova, a little love for Louisa Bacio and a handful of other authors. That’s how I’m refilling the well. The goal is 50 books by end of July, 2021. I’m a little under halfway there. Spending time at the shop when it’s not busy gives me plenty of time to read.

I need to make time in my schedule to write daily. That’s happening. I need to make time to continue studying Spanish, pick up Russian, and refresh my IT skills so I can go back into that hellhole for my allotted time. Honestly, I cannot tell you how fucking incredible it feels to have all this free energy and NOT be exhausted until the end of my day, around 2:30/3 AM. The heat isn’t bothering me, though it hasn’t been so bad yet to be fair. Maybe we get a mild summer.

This is my new normal.

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April Winds bring….BRRR it’s still fucking cold!

March was an uneventful month – I think I spent half of it in bed due to lack of desire. Oh and doctors visits. Heart, wrists, teeth….fingers knees, and toes LOL! Seriously though, we’re talking about taking me off my Sotalol (beta-blocker) in favor of a permanent solution (read: Surgery) and my wrists? I officially have carpal tunnel AND paresthesia. I spent part of last week with my entire right arm feeling numb. Then there was my neuropsyche eval – that was for driving though. Gods know why I need it but Voc Rehab thinks I do in light of my heart and carpal tunnel…

More importantly, the following:

The piece I’d posted earlier had to be restarted due to the fact that I HATED the heroine. She felt too good and pure, so she got shelved to the back for now while I created someone a little more jaded. Meet Anastasia, who makes her debut in the revised version I started on Tuesday. I’m MUCH happier with the way this story feels but the real tell will be when I start writing from Ana’s POV. If I can sustain it because I built it, then it’s golden and I’ll be able to write a darker romance than I have in a long while.

I’ve been going back over my Undead Souls MC Para-Rom to make sure it’s ready for the road of editing, but I’ve realized that I’m not happy with two of the characters from THAT series either. They won’t be removed, just rewritten to modernize the English a bit. I tried making them speak in Anglo Saxon but that’s frustrating even to me and I’m the one writing it. So they’ll end up talking more like Xcor and his Band of Bastards from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Not quite so….out there.

You may remember I wrote two novels for a Lover some time back. I revisited the second novel, more or less a BDSM Romantic Suspense and while I had the BDSM down, I wanted to fix the plot for my hero who was formerly in Securities. I need to email my brokerage for some possible scenarios that’ll make the story flow better. Plus, honestly? This story is so fucking predictable it sickens me. At least the first love letter I wrote for Lover Mine wasn’t 100% predictable, though I may tweak that a bit too. She deserves that.

I start physical therapy after my eval Friday the 2nd so hopefully that doesn’t drain me too much. I’ll also have Saturday to clean and write, so I’ll keep you all posted as to what that looks like!

Books I’m enjoying:

Paganism by River and Joyce Higginbotham
Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD.
The Daily Stoic by Ryan HolidayThe first book I’ve read cover to cover and while I’m aware of my Wiccan roots and ‘basic” tenants of Paganism, it was a really thorough look with insights that dovetail into the second book, which I found fascinating.

Things I’m playing with: Earthing Grounding Mat. You all know I’m severely unbalanced, that’s the life of a writer! But the younger lover’s mother sent us both these mats you plug into an outlet and they pull from the Earth via your electric outlet’s grounding poll. They make my feet tingle and I can tell you that there’s apparently a noticeable difference, though “I” can’t see it, others have made comments. I suggest looking into them if you cannot go outside and step barefoot on the actual earth itself. Earthing is the company name, I believe. That’s kinda all I got right now! Thought I’d share more than the usual writer stuff with this update. I hope you enjoy.

Until next time, thank you from the very bottom of my heart. The contributions mean a LOT and help tremendously.

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Playlist and some news!

I’ve been fighting the last few weeks to stay engaged but recently realized that I had all the rights back to my Samantha Powers titles because that line no longer exists at that publisher. I quickly shot an email over to the very fine folks at Decadent Publishing to see if they were interested and what I needed to do.

Because you didn’t expect this? It’s ME!

It turns out that I can send in the MS with a one-line synopsis since I’ve published with Decadent before.  I went through the old stories and queued up Paula’s Craving.  This is the story of repair, of moving forward and finding that soulmate with whom you want to grow with, only in twenty thousand words or so.  It was originally titled Cliff and was started when I was in high school.

My one-sentence synopsis: 

After a night of rekindling their passion, Paula knows Ryan is her soulmate.  But when he runs out, she’s left devastated until an unexpected encounter inspires her to fight for love one more time

As a fun little thing, here’s the playlist:

PAULA’S PLAYLIST

  • Missing You – Maria Martin
  • In A Reverie – Lacuna Coil
  • Paper Waves – The Gathering
  • The May Song – The Gathering
  • A Current Obsession – Lacuna Coil
  • Cold – Lacuna Coil
  • The Warmth – Incubus
  • Promenade a Paris – Circles, Spirals
  • Iolite – Claire Voyant

RYAN’S PLAYLIST

  • A Noise Severe – The Gathering
  • Amity – The Gathering
  • Regret – Assemblage 23
  • The Deep End – Crossfade
  • Hemorrhage in my Hands – Fuel
  • Deception:  Concealing Fate Part 2 – Tesseract
  • Language 1: Intuition – The Contortionist
  • Monster – The Gathering
  • Allure – Skyharbour
  • Sick of Man – Cold

Maybe someday I’ll do like some authors do and put them in order as to where they would appear in the writing/scene of the novel but honestly? It’s only going to top out at 20,000 regardless of whether Decadent accepts it or not.

I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t my usual heavy as fuck playlist, with death or djent (well there’s one track, two if you count The Contortionist) but outside of that? Goth metal and some Nu-Metal. The lyrical content played well with Lacuna Coil’s melodies. The same could be said of The Gathering’s older material when Anneke was the lead singer. It worked well. It fit the emotional story I was trying to put together from the ashes of the original novel length (written on a TYPEWRITER!) story I’d started so long ago. That was the piece, a pure romance with “some” sex I’d have shown, that started my trek into this business. It would have been pure, but unreadable, honestly.

Now? I’m pretty happy with the outcome despite hating it right now because I’m editing it. You know editing. “Fuck that shit. I have dishes to do.”

Voice:You have to edit.
Me: No. I have to cook this here chicken.
Voice: You have to edit. It’ll be okay.
Me:No. My kitchen needs cleaning
Voice: You really should edit
Me: You ever shut the fuck up?
Voice: Only when you edit.
Me: GFY *Goes off to edit*

Yeah, it’s like that LOL!

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The Goings On! (Another Long form Post)

Bet you thought I was dead, yeah?  LOL!  No, 2020 didn’t take me out.  I’m pretty much invincible.  But I realized I hadn’t had a chance to post during all of last year’s chaos.  Hell, even the previous year I hadn’t made the effort and you really deserve not only my effort but my apology.

A LOT has gone down since my last post. I went to bartending school, worked a handful of events, even got a job that caused me major back pain, along with getting fired (thank FUCK) from that shit hole, only to get a really good bar gig at an Indian spot in Buckhead…

That closed thank you pLandemic Covid-19.

I’ve moved.  Bigger apartment, better view.

That’s the life events.  You’re here because I’m a writer and you love that.  So, let’s get down to business.

You may remember in 2019, I released Riding Tempest in the 20 Shades of Shifter boxed set that I Love Vampire Novels put out.  Well, Oldest Lover convinced me to continue in that world and I’ve birthed Riding Myst and Riding Rayne to complete the Undead Souls MC trilogy.  I had a lot of fun talking with a writer on the plot regarding the overall series and how pleased I was at how it all came together, and I plan to share that with you all soon.  Riding Tempest is ready to go, but the other two books need edits and cover art.  I have a cover artist and I’ll share the cover for Riding Tempest in this post.  

Cover for Riding Tempest – out in late 2021 or early 2022!

I found an editor recently and decided I was going to take all of the books I have ready for that stage and start funding the process to get them ready.  I’m still somewhat cash-poor, so I’m asking Vocational Rehab to help me get updated on my IT skills so I can go back into that world.  I was in IT up until about age 35, from tech support at age 19 to random computer restores and tech writing, I’ve been around but my skillset became severely outdated since I rarely used it for anything other than basic level support and haven’t had a real job (the cigar shop technically doesn’t count) since I was 19 years old.  That being said, as I have income, each book will be edited, given cover art and then I’ll line up a release schedule for 2022.

Oh, but I DO have new material.  I’ll share what I’ve written in another post, but be warned:  It’s not going to make it to the final cut.  I don’t like my heroine; she’s too innocent.  But don’t fret!  I’ve got a new heroine to take her place and my old one will still make her appearance in this new demon romance. 

If you remember, the last series of posts had the original version of Stalker: Dub Mix, my paranormal Fae/Wolf romance.  I rewrote that, but in August of last year, I started the second book in the three-book series.  No, it’s not finished, though I’m about halfway done right now.  It…end of the year was tough.  But I also began plotting the third book in that series, along with giving the entire three-book series a new series name and each book has new titles from what the old ones were.

I have a lot of decisions to make regarding the HOW of moving forward, and you’ll likely be involved on some level if you’re an active participant.  But I AM still writing, despite not being here or on social media much, outside of trading.  

Let me know your thoughts on the cover of Riding Tempest!

Have a blessed 2021!

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The Exhaustion but not so, post! (Long-form)

I’m exhausted. But it’s a good exhausted. I’m not running around exhausted…those who have been Following pick Up the lyric. Been a long, but produCtive week. TalKed to the older lover and I feel so much closer in that relationship. All is well, especially with what I plan for publishing. Nothing new this year, but I have a plan. I have quite the dilemma coming up re: money. For once, I actually have it and can start to save. That’s due in part to a Temporary sHift in financial rEsponsibilities, but the issue is the whole supplemental social security, pandemic/unemployment plus I trade and I made money – wtf with taxes now? Though so far I’m down money on the year, thank you fucking BlackGoddamnBerry. What the fuck you even DO anymore?

But I’m making it back slowly in LitecoiN because of 24×7 trading. A qualified accountant will come my way. I’m certain. If not, I’ll figure it out and run game like I always do because I always win. I’m ahEad in my reading goal by a book. I promised Louisa Bacio I’d read a book of hers and I finally got around to it (sorry hon) but I’ve also kept up with The Daily Stoic. If my best friend ever gets back to me, I have a poWerful book gift for her too.

I resumed kettlebell swings today. God DAMN, that shit Wore me out. But I’m listening to Vishen and changing my identity. The older lover is grOwing into such a beautiful woman. The youngeR lover is taking her power back.

How can you Defeat that?

You can’t.

I’m the luckiest man in the entire universe.

I won’t release anything new this year. That’s the big thing for me. If you’ve been following my career for any length of time since I started, you know I had routine releases every few months for most of two decades. Cover art aPpRoval, Edits (usually three or four rounds), and then newsletters, updating this site when I Started it? And then twitter (before I got banned. Twice, ha!) and Facebook, along with Setting up blog tours, interviews…all while trying to maintain a clean house and fed relationship.

Now?

My writing has bEen in such a state since before L’Don dIed that, I questioned everything. Now? I have an end goal. I’m pushing for VocaTional Rehab to help me gO back into information technology – the thing I did before I decided to become a professionally published authoR. I made money from day one but the last few years?

Yeah, the game has changed. I understand it now. I need to do this, go back to IT. Work that 40 hour week, stack them bills. Keep expenses low, indulge occasionally, but stack them bills. It’s a temporary position because I want my freedom and you deserve me having said freedom to publish the books I promised you, because once I bought the lie but now I sell the truth. Hope. A two-year stint in IT will give me that. The point is, I have a plan. Everyone will win because that’s the Wolf Move.

Right now? Back office work to ready releases for next year. I’m developing a team – editor, cover artist. I’m deciding if I need to get back to being relevant on social media so when the plates drop, they drop like it’s hot. Oven-baked lime and panko-crusted chicken in the oven, Chinese greens readied, I did the mise-en-place beforehand so I could write this post and sell you my truth. Now? Sip this glass of Vinho Verde with the Younger beautiful Lover and wait until the chicken is done and crispy. Tomorrow? Reflect, and get busy because I’ve got shit to do.

How you doin, boo?

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