THURSDAY MORNING COFFEE – Big plans for 2016, like always.

The dreaded planning for the next year has begun. It’s a necessary step to get where I want to be, though, because a plan tells me whether I’m moving decently well or whether I’m just flailing along. And as I evaluate, I have to remember to be kind to myself. I had planned to release 8 books in 2015, and had released only 7. A bit short, there, but… I refuse to call that a failure. Nope, it’s “failing into success.”

So what of 2016? I’ll tell you what. Ten books, baby. Ten books either published or submitted. Not just written, because a fully written book just sitting on my hard drive doesn’t do me, or my readers, any good. How do I know? Well…   it’s like this:

One of my 2015 releases had sat on my drive for two years.

Currently, I have the following, fully-written and not-yet-submitted novels on my hard drive:

  1. “Lucky Starflowers,” a M/M which needs a few tweaks before I can resubmit it to Dreamspinner Press.
  2. “Critical Timing,” my Balkans 1991 adventure suspense.
  3. “Crone,” a martial arts novella

But that’s not all. The following works are well-begun and all I have to do is sit down and finish them:

  1. “Waterkin,” a new adult urban fantasy.
  2. “Rusty Blade,” a martial arts thriller.
  3. “Critical Luck,” sequel to “Critical Timing.”
  4. Swim Bike Run, volume 3 (and I still need a title.)

Plus I have all those fun ideas that come to me as I go along. I have to control those with an iron hand, and in order to do that, I put the titles on a little paper cut-out of a fighter jet and tape them on my office door. A level jet is waiting for *permission* to take off. No taking off while I’m busy with ongoing planes in the air, please. If it’s tilted up, it’s a Work-In-Progress and I’m actively working on it. And when I’m done writing, and it’s either submitted or I’m publishing it myself, it goes on the office window. Nose-up means it’s still in the air. Level means the story has landed, and is available for purchase.

Since I’m both a visual creature and a distractible one, and since I don’t outline, a jet waiting for a control-tower permission to scramble is a ver good way of keeping myself sane and relatively organized.

If you look above, getting 10 books out should be pretty doable. Publish or submit 3, finish 4, and write three brand-new and fresh books, three eager jets waiting to launch into the air and buzz the tangled landscape of my mind. Piece of cake? No. Doable? Definitely.

And with that, I wish the rest of you health, love, and happiness in 2016.



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THURSDAY MORNING COFFEE BLOG – Merry Christmas, and a filet


Christmas Eve was always the big day for us – the fasting, the fish feast, the gifts opened under a tree. We still do that, although the fasting consists of having a braided raisin bread, “vanočka,”and coffee. Life is good. We are healthy, my cymbidium orchid is in spike (that’s first for me – it rebloomed from last year!), and the three-tiered cookie tray is all set up by my cookie-baking husband. I wish you all Happy Holidays, and just for fun, I’m including a holiday-related short story about Asbjorn and Sean from Breakfall. This is what happens when the boys take their Christmas break in Iceland 🙂 This takes place after the whole Fall Trilogy.

The Smell of Christmas

The TSA drone checked Sean’s documents, then Asbjorn’s. “Step over there, with the others.”

He wanted to grab Asbjorn’s hand and run for it. Leave the JFK re-entry security checkpoint behind. Leave their luggage – especially their luggage – and make their Boston connection.

Obediently, following his husband, he took his place with their fellow passengers. As long as they didn’t attract attention. As long as they didn’t smell like their luggage did. As long as the SWAT team didn’t show up with sniffing dogs. Would the horrid stuff even wipe out the dogs’ sense of smell? It sure had done a number on him when Asbjorn had opened one of his precious cans. The reek had oozed across the room like a genie let out of a bottle, inescapable.

Fucking Asbjorn and his idiotic culinary experiments. Rotted canned fish? Seriously? (“Not rotten, just fermented. Try it, Sunshine, you’ll like it!”) Had they gotten some Akvavit or Oban in the duty-free like regular people. But no, it had to be cans of the stuff. Enough to inflict upon their unsuspecting friends, who’d expect an Icelandic delicacy and get a snoutful of a week-old litterbox.

How the fuck did the Vikings even figure out they had to dig a hole to put the fish in, piss on it, and bury it for months to render it edible? And, no it wasn’t “like that runny cheese we had in Paris, except stronger.” No matter how much umami or terroir or whatever it had, it hadn’t been worth it and it took two regular tooth-brushings on Asbjorn’s part before Sean agreed to kiss him ever again.

When fish ferments in an enclosed space, pressure does tend to build up. And had these been the sturdy, antiquated 16-gauge ration cans from World War II, there might’ve been a chance to bring Asbjorn’s precious prize home. Except these piece-of-shit modern aluminum tin cans probably exploded in the unpressurized luggage compartment within an hour after take-off.

He fought the urge to reach for Asbjorn’s hand.

Think. Think hard. Asbjorn had put it into a separate backpack. It had just dirty laundry all around it for padding. Nothing sentimental, nothing important. No identifying marks – and since it had been a last-minute decision at the gate, no name tag, either.

Plausible deniability?

Had they not had to evacuate the plane, had the authorities not called the bioterror unit… Sean looked around. The underground corridor was still. Even the luggage belts had stopped moving minutes ago.

In the deafening stillness, his stomach twisted with anxiety. He’d lie, lie through is teeth and claim he’d never laid his eyes upon that stupid, reeking backpack before. He’d not have Asbjorn torn away from him, separated, sent away. He wondered what the weather at Guantanamo was like.




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THURSDAY MORNING COFFEE BLOG – Kickass Anthology for Eric Arvin

Kickass cover 3

One year ago, the illustrated Kickass Anthology came out on Amazon. A group of amazing writers and graphic artists donated their talents, and others edited and copy-proofed on a volunteer basis, and I formatted and published, to raise funds for Eric Arvin, who got unexpectedly disabled and needed help. We’ve raised and delivered over three thousand dollars to date. Today I’m sending a new check, the 2nd and 3rd quarter royalties for 2015, for $314.02. This is not as stellar an amount, but every penny will help and I thank all of you who were kind enough to contribute to the original effort.

Meanwhile, we have other developments: Eric needs an exercise machine called a “quadricizer,” and you can donate directly to his fundraising effort here. He has over $16K of the $20K needed to purchase this specialized piece of equipment. Unlike giving to a big charitable organization, you know that donating to this effort will result in a 100% fund transfer to Eric. None of this 70% for “administration” nonsense.

Another development: A volunteer translator translated the Kickass Anthology into Spanish! I’ll be formatting the book in January, and I already have a kind friend who volunteered to proof the galley for me. If any of you are Spanish speakers of native fluency, and would be willing to donate your time to a good cause, please contact me at I don’t speak Spanish past ordering in a restaurant, and I’d be thrilled to have another set of eyes to pick out the obvious and inevitable typos that do occur.

Thank you all who buy and promote the Kickass Anthology, and who donate to Eric’s fund directly! Please forward this post as we fight for a good cause.

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Thursday Morning Coffee Blog

Hi! My blog has moved to my website, and you can link to it here. Have a great day!

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A Book Sale at the Cost of Your Conscience

Well said.

Source: A Book Sale at the Cost of Your Conscience

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Catch up on my blog here!

A creepy dude, who started out with a “Oh, you’re a writer, what are you writing?” conversation last spring started to stalk me, cornering me at a place that used to be my favorite hangout. Do you know how personal it is for someone to draw your portrait from internet photos? Enhance certain features? Fictionalize it? It wasn’t just all the fan art. With him getting handsy and making all kinds of pseudo-sensual remarks, I started avoiding the place.

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You can find my blog at my new website!

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Hi everyone, come check out my dusty website. Dusty, because I’m still not quite done with it. The drop-down menus are populated with all my books, including buy links, so I finally have all my chicks in one coop!

You can leave messages there, and send emails to content will stay, although I’m not sure whether I’ll keep this particular theme. I think there’s too much going on. I’m just tempted to get a plain white website with black text and call it a day. Opinions??

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GUEST BLOG! “Sire”, Brent, myself. Thoughts on teen suicide.


I can’t tell you how excited I am today. There is so much going on!

My guest blog is up at the Dreamspinner Press blog site, and I still don’t regret getting a bit  TMI and personal in its contents. Yes, this too shall pass. “Sire” deals with two teenagers, one of whom feels the ground shift under his feet. Not a happy feeling – but even earthquakes are of limited duration. Sire is even on a surprise 25% off sale! Cool.

My $0.99 features consist of 3 novels: Broken Gait (a companion book to Sire); Breakfall (a martial art crime suspense gay romance melodrama), and Zipper Fall (a quirky stand-alone, where two sociopaths try hard to make a happy home.) NOT Wild Horses – my mistake! I just … forgot.

Catch up with me on DSP’s FB site sometime this weekend or later this week, and have a great day!

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THURSDAY MORNING COFFEE BLOG – Birthing a new website, plus a $0.99 book sale this weekend!

ZipperFallSM  WildHorsesSM  BreakfallSM

First, a quick PSA: my books Wild Horses, Breakfall, and Zipper Fall will be featured on my publisher’s website for only $0.99 this weekend! (Okay, now you know. Enjoy!) I’ve been hoping to unveil my new website today – but there’s a lot more work to be done. I’ll keep this blog brief and get back to wrangling features, photos, and links! In the end, you’ll have a navigable site with all of my books on it. Every book will have every buy-link available, so you can choose your file format and vendor. There will be various genre tabs, so you know where to find the M/M romance, crime suspense, urban fantasy, short stories, and audio files. There will be a sign-up form for a quarterly newsletter, and that newsletter will contain a discount code for Mugen Press titles.

Also note, my blog will move from this free WordPress account to my new website. I’ll still be writing once a week, mostly because I really enjoy it. It’s strange, how a commitment to do a blog lends structure to the whole workweek, and makes it so much easier to get my writing and publishing done!

Keep your fingers crossed for me (or, hold your thumbs, that would be a Czech equivalent.) The power of GoDaddy doesn’t run strong within me. Fortunately, though, they have stellar customer service and will talk me through just about anything!Breakfall_postcard_front_DSP

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