Tag Archives: reading

What I #AmReading



It’s writing research, not personal (no, my teenager doesn’t have an eating disorder and hopefully never will).

I know this reading list makes Andy’s book sound like a ton of fun. :-/  You’ll just have to trust I’ll find a way to make it amazeballs.

I’ve finished Beyond Magenta. It’s a quick read I’d recommend to anyone who is at all curious about what life can be like for young transgender people. This is just a taste, really, but I think it could be a useful introductory text, especially for parents trying to understand and help their transgender child (some stories are a lesson in what not to do or say, of course). It’s brief (to a fault), but worth the read. I was glad it included some nonbinary viewpoints, though the scope could/should have been much greater, IMO.

Now I’m reading Answers to Anorexia, which addresses nutritional deficits and how they can aggravate the anorexia cycle. Pretty interesting for a grim topic.

In other news, the release day for Balancing Act is June, 27th, so mark your calendars! 🙂 I’ll have a cover reveal soon…but for now, here’s the disguised version. Mwahahahhahahahahha!




Rockin’ Reads #Giveaway Blog Hop!

Everyone needs a Rockin’ Read! Stop by Sept 23rd to 30th and find out which reads have rocked 2015 for us! There will be a giveaway on each blog so don’t forget to visit them all!

rockin reads

Hey, everyone! Today marks the beginning of the Rockin’ Reads Hop, and I’m stoked to be a participant. Whoop!

This is the part of my post where I should gush over a romance that completely rocked my world in 2015. The catch is, I’ve been reading a lot of history lately (yes, non-fiction, but often that shit is stranger than fiction). I’ve been doing a bunch of beta reading for writerly pals, and reading gardening journals (cough, cough–nerd). I’m re-reading some early Patricia Cornwell because those were the days…

So, basically, I’m not going to gush over a romance, although I’ve read a number this year, just nothing that’s sticking out like a knife handle from my back.

Anyway, I have a few books in my queue I’m looking forward to–a couple of KJ Charles’ I need to catch up on, some old school het bodice rippers (I think I’m having a midlife crisis–this is a scream for help), some YA stuff (including The Outsiders because I’ve not read it, my oldest is going to be hitting that for English class, and I thought, hey, buddy read).

So, there you have it. Don’t hate me because I’m in a romance funk. I’ll find my way out eventually, I promise.

For my giveaway, I’ll send one lucky winner an e-copy of either Forever is Now or Double Takes, both rockstar reads that fit nicely with this hop theme, I think. To be eligible, just leave a book recommendation for me in the comments. I want my socks fucking knocked off. Ladies and gentlemen, start my engines. 😉

Oh, and don’t forget to visit all the stops in the below link! Freebies and recommendations out the wazoo! Think I’ll go check those out right now…


Cyber Monday on All Romance! 50% off and Freebies!

Just a heads-up, folks. In case you’ve been thinking about picking up one of my books (or someone else’s), but couldn’t shell out the cashola, here is your chance to get them at half price!

This is one day only, so jump on it now. 🙂

Forever is Now for $2.50 (read it now before book 2 comes out!)foreverisnow

Star Catcher for $2.50

Bound by Ink for $.99!

Lust in Time for $4.00

Slave for Love: A Vampire BDSM Anthology for $3.50

And there are cyber-tons more! Just look for the books with the little crown emblem on them to qualify for the 1/2 off rebate.

Oh, and Geek Lust has been free over there for a while now, if you need to save all your pennies for the holidays, but still want something spicy for your road trips. 🙂

Also, if you haven’t read my free gymnast and the nerd M/M Sticking It, the download links are here.

Happy Reading!


An Erotica Writer’s Resource

I attended a local writers’ group for the first time last week.  Before the date, I’d debated whether or not I would own up to writing smut.  Of course, I blurted it out during my introduction, because, A: I can’t keep a secret, and B: I love shocking people.  It’s fun.

Well, the theme for the meeting was, “What are your favorite books on writing that have helped your craft,” or something like that.  We all brought in a book or two, and said why we liked them, and passed them around.  Many were poetry-related books, as this group seems to have an abundance of poets.

For my part, I considered bringing in a now out-of-print book that I’ve had for at least a decade—long, long before I started writing erotica, back when I figured someday I might write romance and saw this book at a great price and snapped it up.  Already I had my romance/erotica lines blurred; my sex/love boundaries woefully screwy.  Story of my life.

My internal smut-sensors must have been telling me something, though.  I always did read Playboy and Hustler for the articles (and look at them for the pictures) when I was a kid, stumbling upon an uncle’s or friend’s father’s stash.

Mercedes Ambrus

Mercedes Ambrus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was written in the stars that I would write about people buffing the wood and falling in love.  Ahhh, sweet romantic lust (see, I still mix the two together).

So, anyway, I digress.  The book I was talking about before I was so rudely interrupted by myself was “How to Write Erotica” by Valerie Kelly.  Yes, this book is dated—it came out in the eighties and, yes, you can almost picture the big hair and chicka-bow-bow music in the background when you are reading the excerpts.  But, for something over 20 years old, it’s aged surprisingly well.  True, the list of publishers is obsolete–don’t buy it for that (and, incidentally, it’s available used for about a buck plus shipping on Amazon from various sellers.  Note the condition of the book before purchasing, as you never know if the previous owner was using it for stroke material–it could happen.)

The book is an interesting read, start to finish.  Valerie Kelly illustrates the how-to’s of erotic letter writing, short-shorts, longer shorts, and novels–all still relevant structures for today’s authors.  “The Marketplace for Erotic Fiction” section is more a history lesson on erotica, at this point, but I think it is still fun reading for anyone interested in the business to see how it has evolved in the past twenty years.  It’s still evolving.  Who knows what is ahead?  If history repeats itself, as they say, I’ll be ready with my leg-warmers and my copy of HTWE.

Anyway, Kelly goes into the basic formula for story-telling (Plot, Character, The Setting, The Climax, POV, The Denouement).  This section is still valid, as are the parts about tense, pacing, and making things sexy (yeah, 80’s sexy is still sexy).

Even Kelly’s advise on query letters can be modified for today’s electronic submission process.  True, we don’t need to know about 20lb paper or SASEs anymore, but skip it, or read it just to appreciate how much easier we have it now.  When I was your age, I had to walk to school in five feet of snow.  Actually, I took a bus.

Finally, Kelly has exercises to inspire your creativity.  Need a jumping off point?  Close your eyes and pick one.  Her glossary and list of sensual words at the end are tré useful.  I’ve penned in my own additions at the back of the book.

So, that was a rather lengthy book review, it turns out.  I give “How to Write Erotica” 4.5 stars and the coveted Vale Smutty Stamp of Approval.

And to answer your question, I did not bring it to my writer’s group (and good thing–there was a rather suspicious character present who may have absconded with, and defiled my book).

I brought “Self Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King.  I like that one, too, even sans any juicy bits.

Now, for a little exercise of our own.  Pretend this is a writer’s group meeting.  I’m the creepy guy leering at you.  What book/s do you recommend for your fellow authors?  Don’t worry, I’ll only borrow them until the next meeting.  Sorry about any pages that might get stuck together…


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