Good Morning Monday! And some info on Upside Down

I wrote this post for Love Bytes Reviews  and I wanted to share it with you as well, because it’s important to me, and I’m too lazy to type out another post that’s basically the same as this one LOL


My next release, Upside Down, is the story of two asexual men who are trying to navigate their way through life in a very sexualised world. Everywhere we look, on TV, in books, movies, music videos, YouTube, Instagram (the list is endless) sex is front and centre. We’re told sex sells. And it does.

But not for everyone.

The over-sexualised world we live in has been normalised to the point where asexuality is considered ‘abnormal’. I’m here to tell you that asexuality is not abnormal. It’s just not common.

It’s estimated that Asexuality accounts for approximately 1% of the general population, which isn’t a lot in the scheme of things. But those 1% of people are still important, are still valid, and still need to be respected.

This story hit home for me. It’s something I’ve been struggling with, and trying to get my head around. I’ve been at odds with myself over this for years but it wasn’t until I began reading into what asexuality means that I began to see myself for what I am. And here’s my truth: I am somewhere on the asexual spectrum. I lean more toward the grey (like my hair LOL) and I realised there’s more me in Jordan (a main character in Upside Down) than I probably realised before I started writing.

Guys, I didn’t know how much I needed to write this book.

Will everyone love it? Probably not. There is NO sex in this book. And I know some readers won’t even consider reading it because of that fact. And that’s fine. It’s totally their call.

All I ask is that readers remain respectful. If reviews start to come in saying “OMG there is no sex in this story, why did I bother!!” then they’ve missed the point of the story, they’ve missed the message, and to me, that means I’ve failed as a writer.

Only time will tell.

So there it is. I said it. This book is my story. Much like Henry in the Weight of It All was my weight/fitness story, Jordan is my asexuality story.

This book is not a gospel, or a guide, or a check list to tick off. Everyone’s story is different. I just hope to give some other asexuals a voice, and some characters to identify with.

Upside Down will be out later this month. There will be no preorders, and it will be in KU for the first three months. If you’d like to keep updated, follow me on Amazon, and you’ll be notified when each new book is released!

Blurb:

Jordan O’Neill isn’t a fan of labels, considering he has a few. Gay, geek, a librarian, socially awkward, a nervous rambler, an introvert, an outsider. The last thing he needs is one more. But when he realises adding the label asexual might explain a lot, it turns his world upside down.

Hennessy Lang moved to Surry Hills after splitting with his boyfriend. His being asexual had seen the end of a lot of his romances, but he’s determined to stay true to himself. Leaving his North Shore support group behind, he starts his own in Surry Hills, where he meets first-time-attendee Jordan.

A little bewildered and scared but completely adorable, Hennessy is struck by this guy who’s trying to find where he belongs. Maybe Hennessy can convince Jordan that his world hasn’t been turned upside down at all, but maybe it’s now—for the first time in his life—the right way up.

 


A quick WIP update: Currently at 32K words. Being away and not writing for 2 weeks slowed me down but I’m back to writing this week and will try for ALL the words!

Okay folks, that’s it for today. Until next week…

Good Morning Monday ~ And some other ramblings

So release week of Galaxies and Oceans has been awesome! From the feedback and comments I’ve seen, Patrick and Aubrey have found their way into the hearts of a lot of people. I’m so proud of these boys and thrilled that folks love them too. ❤

Over the first two to three days of release, Galaxies and Oceans went to #1 in seven countries in the LGBT categories!!  People from all the world over have quoted parts of this book and told me how much they felt these characters. To know I can touch readers with my words is an amazing and humbling thing. I’ll never take for granted the gift I have been given to reach people, and I’ll never take for granted the readers who choose to read one of my books.

There is a responsibility that comes with writing, with reaching out and representing the LGBT+ community. Our choice of words can impact, can heal, can help. They can also harm. It’s important, as an author, for me to remember I have a responsibility to listen and learn – to hear. I hope I can continue to reach out and help others. Not just readers, but other authors as well.

Just yesterday, something on Amazon was brought to my attention. A cover (not mine) looked familiar to some people and questions were being asked. I took it upon myself to contact the author and, privately and politely, asked if they were aware of a possible copyright infringement.  The author replied, horrified. No, they didn’t know. No, they were unaware and thought everything was above board. They’re new to writing, to this genre. This poor author was almost physically ill after realising what they’d done. They fixed the mistake, and all is right with the world again.

Do I want a medal? LOL no.  Why am I telling you? Because I was a newbie once too. Hell, some days I still feel like I am. I had people help and guide me, and I like to think I can pay it back by paying it forward.

Anyway, after all the drama that unfolded in the M/M world this week, I wrote a long-ass post about author behaviour and responsibility and then, after much deliberation, I deleted it. I try and keep my GMM posts about productivity and fun, and I want to keep it that way.

So, on that note, an update with my WIP: I think I have a title, but I’m still undecided. Currently it’s at 51K words and I’ve sent it to my sister to pre-read because I think it’s a hot mess and at this point I don’t know if it will see the light of day. *sigh*

Oh, I almost forgot! The paperbacks of Galaxies and Oceans are here and they’re gorgeous!!

 

You can order from Amazon, or if you’d like a signed copy you can order from HERE!

Anywhoooooo, that’s it for this week.  Remember, be kind, be safe. Until next week…

Good Morning Monday ~ Finders Keepers, and other exciting news!

Well, Finders Keepers is almost here! ARCs have gone out and the first reports back to me is that it is incredibly sweet and lovely! So, yay!! And thank God! LOL

Waiting for that first feedback, to say what they think, is terrifying! But I can breathe a little easier now knowing that people have enjoyed it ❤

So, who wants an excerpt??

Griffin

I got all moved into my new place and had everything unpacked on day one. I’d met my downstairs landlady for the first time as the two bulky removalists were lugging my bed up the stairs. I was at the bottom of the stairs watching them, not entirely ogling, when a tiny, five-foot-tall woman stood beside me.

She didn’t say anything for a while, just stared at the men straining to get the wooden bedhead up the flight of stairs. Still without looking at me, she hummed. “Nice arse.”

I almost choked on my sip of water. “Uh…”

“Don’t tell me you weren’t looking. I might be a little hard of hearing, but I ain’t blind.”

Right then.

I held out my hand. “Name’s Griffin Burke.”

She shook my hand, and her hard, firm grip surprised me. She looked kind of frail at first, but then I noticed her tattoos. Her entire right arm was now a mottled, wrinkled mass of blue and coloured ink on sun-leathered skin. Given she looked to be in her seventies, she must have had a full sleeve done forty or fifty years ago.

Jesus.

“Bernice Warren.”

She was wearing a sleeveless tank top and a flowing skirt. Upon closer inspection, she looked like a hippy that peace, love, and time forgot. Her face had seen too much sun as well, wrinkled and leathered, though I imagined she would have once been stunningly beautiful. Her blue eyes still had spark, her long once-blonde hair now ash grey.

“Come with me,” she said, turning on her heel and walking toward the roller door. When she turned, I noticed her left arm. Old, mottled blue tattoos went to her elbow, as well as two scars that looked like lightning strikes. They looked surgical and my first thought was shoulder reconstruction, but then I noticed one scar ran underneath her shirt and up her neck. She turned the latch on the roller door, and using her right arm only, lifted the door to review a storage space. Inside was a lawnmower, wheelbarrow, and some gardening tools.

Ah, right. I was the resident mower of lawns.

“I’d do it myself,” she said. “But the old arm doesn’t work like it used to.” She lifted her left arm rigidly. It didn’t hang useless but there was definitely restricted movement.

“It’s fine,” I said. “I don’t mind mowing lawns at all. My weekends will be Monday and Tuesday though, not Saturday and Sunday. If that’s okay?”

“It’s fine. Don’t much care what day you do ’em.” She nodded to herself. “Last tenant was a nice girl. Started out with good intentions, and she was gonna do all sorts of things to help me out, but that didn’t last long.” Bernice looked up at me and stared for a good long minute. “You’re not the churchgoing type, are you?”

“Uh…”

“I don’t mind if you are, I just don’t wanna offer you one of my special brownies and for you to totally hash out on me and start mumbling biblical shit at me every time you see me.”

I fought a smile and lost, and I tried not to laugh but couldn’t help that either. “Not biblical. Not in that sense, anyway. Unless you consider my earlier staring at that guy’s arse a religion. As for the special brownies, I haven’t had any for a while. Not since college.”

Bernice grinned and nodded slowly. “So you know what I mean when I say special brownie. Not like the last poor girl who thought it was my grandma’s special recipe or some shit.” She shook her head slowly. “Dunno what she was thinking. Do I look like Betty Fucking Crocker to you?”

My God, I love Bernice!

Finders Keepers will be live on February 2nd, if the Amazon gods are willing.


In other news, I’ve signed contracts for the translations of Cronin’s Key series, Red Dirt Heart series, and Sixty Five Hours into Thai. That’s EIGHT books!! I’m super excited about seeing my books in the Asian market. ❤

When I started this writing thing, I never imagined it would go this far. It’s truly incredible, and I have moments when I’m humbled and honoured and wonder how on earth I ever got so lucky.

And I owe it all to my readers. ❤


I’ve started a new WIP and it’s working title is “Galaxies and Oceans” which will probably change. My working titles usually do. LOL  I’m only 7K words into it but I think these boys might be something special… And I’ve only said that once or twice before. *sigh* Their names are Aubrey Hobbs and Patrick Carney.  Patrick’s 15 years older than Aubrey and both have a tonne of baggage and emotional scars. I just hope hope hope I can do them justice.

A little pic to whet your appetite…


I’ll have some new covers to show off soon!!  The incredible Reese Dante is working on three for me at the moment: the re-release of Three’s Company and Taxes and TARDIS, and the cover for Evolved.

I do have the cover of Galaxies and Oceans (title pending) but will wait until I have the title confirmed before I show it. It was a pre-made cover from Harper Design (the fabulous artist who made my Imago and Imagines covers) and I’m hoping for a late June / early July release date.

That’s it for now. As always, until next week…

Good Morning Monday! October?? Say What?!

October… it is now just 2 weeks until I fly out of Sydney, LA bound! I keep saying I’m unprepared but I don’t think anyone believes me. GUYS, I’M SO UNPREPARED!!

My pre-orders have closed and I now have 94 books to get to Denver.   o.O   It’s amazing and awesome that readers want my books, but the logistics is tricky. Anywhooo, I’m sure it will all work out. (that’s what I keep telling myself anyway LOL)


In case you missed it, POINT OF NO RETURN is on sale at Amazon for just 99c!

BUY LINKS:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073V5LMHL
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073V5LMHL
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B073V5LMHL
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B073V5LMHL
DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B073V5LMHL


Aaaaaand some big audio news… THE WEIGHT OF IT ALL will be out Oct 3rd!! Which is tomorrow for us Aussies!! Woooot!!

You can find it AUDIBLE


That’s it for this week’s post. A super short one. For those interested in my WIP updates, ON DAVIS ROW is now at 76K and nowhere near being done… one day – I swear, one day – I’ll write a short story! 😉

Until next week!  ❤

Good Morning Monday! In the last ten days…

I really do need a new word for busy. Or a new definition at least. The last ten days have been crazy-busy. Let me recap for you…

I think that’s everything… I’ve probably forgotten something, no doubt. But as you can see, it’s been busy. And this doesn’t include anything going on in my RL right now. *sigh* I need a vacation. Seriously.


The paperback covers for Yanni and EoR are GORGEOUS!!

And believe me, they’re even prettier in real life!


As I mentioned above, Spencer Cohen books 2 & 3 are now wide releases. (Spencer 1 isn’t – long story short: an amazon promotion period overlapped with the KU cut off date) But I’ll be adding Spencer Book One in 90 days.

Links for Spencer Cohen Book 2

B&N

iBooks

Links for Spencer Cohen Book 3 

B&N

iBooks


The Blind Faith Series only came out of KU yesterday so the links to other retails stores such as B&N and iBooks will take a few days.

You can purchase all available non-KU books at my Payhip site!

And at Smashwords


Speaking of audio releases…  Cronin’s Key III had a bit of a hiccup. It was somehow not scheduled for global release and only hit the US on release week 😦  But it’s fixed now and available everywhere 🙂

But Red Dirt Heart 3 had a stellar release week and made the BestSeller list on audible under LGBT!

You can check my profile out at Audible to find all my audio titles. And don’t forget Switched is due out Sept 20th!


So my WIP is crawling along. Currently at 43K words, it’s got roughly 20K to go. I have two weeks before school ends and I NEED to get the first draft finished before then… I might be a little scarce from social media over the next two weeks while I write, write, write…

I’m also aiming to release my drabble story FREE before I head off to GRL. 🙂

Until next week…  ❤

Yanni’s Story – OUT NOW!!

YANNI’S STORY – OUT NOW!!

Blurb:

When Yanni Tomaras is kicked out of his family home, his parents’ final words are religious insults and an order to never return. Homeless and desperate, he’s lured in by Lance—charming on the outside, an evil predator underneath—who abuses Yanni until he finds the courage to leave.
Yanni should feel free. But by the time Spencer Cohen finds him, he’s resigned to being handed back to Lance and once again being caged by fear.
Starting school and a part-time job, Yanni begins to reclaim his life. But a love for silent films leads him to Peter Hannikov, a man with a kind heart but who’s twice his age. An unlikely friendship between them blooms into so much more. Neither man knows what he wants, at first. Finding out exactly what he needs is Yanni’s story.
“I’d spent years as a bird, caged with my wings clipped, tormented and beaten.
I thought I’d escaped when I’d left my abuser, but in hindsight, I could see that I was still caged, this time by fear and self-doubt.
Spencer and Andrew, and Andrew’s parents, opened the door to the cage that confined me.
But it was Peter who taught me how to fly.”

120,000 words. 
Trigger Warning: Descriptions of violence, suicide, and sexual assault. Reader discretion advised.

BUY LINK:

Good Morning Monday! Weekly update and Yanni’s paperback cover :)

Hello again! This is only going to be a super short one today. I’ve had another busy week (I seriously can’t remember when they weren’t). So a quick rundown of what I got through this week:

  • Some (not all) proofing edits on Yanni’s Story
  • Released some (not all) ARCs of Yanni’s Story
  • Wrote 11K words. My WIP is now at 19K 🙂
  • Finalised some artwork for the new Thomas Elkin Series covers (which are amazing, by the way – and I’ll share them soon.)
  • Started to proof the audio of Red Dirt Heart 3
  • and probably a bunch of stuff I can’t remember…

This week coming up, I only have three days at home. We leave on Thursday and get back on Monday (not going anywhere exciting, unfortunately) but I still have a weeks’ work to do (cry me a river, I know LOL). Anywhoooo, my list looks a lot like this:

  • Finish proofing the audio of RDH3 – and it’s soooo good. Joel slays it!
  • Finish sending all ARCs to review blogs
  • Write more words on my WIP – I’d love to be up to 25K before I leave.
  • Finalise the proofing edits for Yanni.
  • Format the final file of Yanni for ebook and paperback.

I think that’s enough for three days… 😉

And speaking of the paperback of Yanni’s Story, I have the wrap cover to show off!  In keeping with the Spencer Cohen theme, I made up a mock cover and sent it to Sara York, who did a superbly fabulous job in making it perfect!

Isn’t it gorgeous?? I just love it! I can’t wait to hold one in my hands!

As I’ll be away next weekend and Monday, I highly doubt there’ll be a usual Monday morning post. But as Yanni’s Story is just 8 days away, I’ll definitely be posting between now and then. I’ll try and find some excerpts to share 🙂

Until then…  ❤

 

Good Morning Monday! Silence – that shit is golden.

Yep, it’s Monday again. And if you’ve been reading these weekly musings from me, you’ll know Monday is my favourite day of the week! Sounds crazy, I know. But hear me out. After busy BUSY weekends of sport, usually travelling somewhere, housework, laundry for days, grocery shopping, noise, yelling at kids to pick their shit up, Monday to me means blessed silence.

Si. Lence.

And I tell ya, that shit is golden. LOL

I love silence. When my house is quiet and still, and the coffee is hot, it’s like the best thing ever. For writing, anyway.

I’ve had a busy week with work. What I got done:

  • Worked on second round and final round edits on Yanni’s Story.
  • Sent Yanni’s Story to proofreaders.
  • Worked on final round edits of Best of Both Worlds (the free story I haven’t exactly decided what to do with yet)
  • Spent far too long on formatting Best of Both Worlds for Createspace, which worked fine. As did ePub and PDF, but Mobi keeps being an arse. In the end, I gave up. LOL I’ll get back to it one day…
  • Sent Chasing Fire (my m/f omni story) off to an editor.
  • Sent Elements of Retrofit (Thomas Elkin 1) to my editor for new edits and re-release.
  • Sorted through some stock photos and stuff for new Thomas Elkin covers.
  • Managed some words on my new WIP, which is now at 8K words.
  • Bought another pre-made book cover.  (I need to stop doing that LOL)
  • Worked on/bought more swaggy stuff for GRL.
  • And probably a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember right now.

What I want to get done this week:

  • All the words on my WIP. ALL of them! LOL
  • NOT buying any more pre-made covers. I think I need 12 step program LOL

And that’s it! That’s all I want to get done this week. I want to write, write, write!  I’d really like to report back next week and say my WIP is now at 20K. It’s probably not likely, because I have so much other stuff that pops up every damn day, but I want ALL the words. And I know that writing books is only 50% writing (probably less, I suck at maths LOL) and all the other stuff has to be done, but damn. All the other stuff (like editing, marketing, promo, formatting, blah blah blah, just kills me. I’m trying to delegate more but that, like too many files on my computer, are a WIP 😉

Anyway, enough rambling from me. Until next week… ❤

 

Good Morning Monday! What’s news?

Seriously, it’s like I’m writing these GMM posts every second day… This post is only going to be super short. A fly-by post, really.

Anywhooooo, it’s been another busy week. I swear, they all are these days.

Because Yanni’s Story is 120K words long, my editor is doing edits in three split parts. The book itself is written in three parts, so it makes sense to edit in three smaller, more manageable sections. Then we’ll put it all back together into one book before release 🙂  Anyway, I’ve done the first-round edits of the first section. I’m still hoping for an August 29th release, but damn, it’s gonna be super tight. I apologise in advance if it doesn’t happen on the 29th. ❤

I’ve also finished edits on that drabble-style story I’ve been talking about. The thing is, I don’t know what to do with it. It’s written in 100 word chapters, so people will probably be like “WTF IS THIS CRAP? It’s not even a real book!”

And the m/f story I’ve been re-working, I hate. So I don’t know what I’ll do with that either.

*sigh*

Anyway, I’ve started something new this week. I’m only 5K into it (editing and re-writing and real life bit into my writing time this week) and I have absolutely NO clue where it’s headed, how it will end, or anything about it really. LOL It’s the story of a corrections officer (parole officer) and a guy who got busted on a break and enter charge. I’ll keep you posted on progress, of course!

I also bought another pre-made cover. God help me, they’re like crack. LOL  I now have SIX that I need to write stories for. I need to seriously stop looking at sites, and just bloody write all the words. Though I think I safely have my schedule for 2018 sorted already! Possibly even 2019! In related news, if anyone knows how to produce clones, I’m all ears…

So that’s it for now. I told you it’d be a short one. I’m away every weekend for the next three weekends, but I will try to post. I was thinking I might drop an excerpt from Yanni’s Story next week!

Until then…

 

Good Morning Monday! August already?

Thought I’d try a different GMM pic today. 🙂 So can you believe it’s August already? Where the hell has this year gone? Lordy, does time fly when you’re having fun! My real life has been crazy-busy and my daughter turned 15! If someone could please explain to me where those 15 years went, that’d be great! LOL

Weekly Update:

This week I’ve been working on a few things. Re-working, adding to, fixing and re-writing some existing fics I’d written a long time ago. Both were once fanfiction, but they now don’t resemble the world they were created in. One is male/female romance, which is something I’ve not delved into for a long time. The other is an m/m ‘drabble’ story, meaning the entire story is told in 100 word chapters/instalments. This is the one I was going to upload a chapter per day into my blog but it was going to be too difficult and confusing. It will still be free though 😉

But my priorities will be getting Yanni’s Story out on time. I’m still aiming for a release of August 29th, which is just four weeks away and it hasn’t even been edited yet. And well, about that… I’m trying to pretend I’m not panicking/dying/a total freakin’ wreck on the inside…


This week:

So, what’s happening this week? I was going to try and write a Christmas story but I’m feeling anything but festive right now, so instead, I’m starting something entirely new. I’m fairly certain I know which story I’m going to write… I have a cover, a title, aaaaaaand nothing else. LOL

I *think* I know the character’s name but he’s full of attitude and has a chip on his shoulder, which makes me think this whole book will be like having a conversation with a teenager who got detention for being a smartarse. And for what it’s worth, this character isn’t a teenager. He’s in his twenties and just got out of lock-up.

*sigh*

I swear, each and every time I go to start something new, I think I’m going to write nothing but fluff — strictly guy meets guy, just fluff and smut, no plot. But oh no, then my brain laughs and laughs and laughs and laughs.

So before I can actually start writing anything on this new story, I need to research Australian legal/penal systems, medications for certain illnesses, and the pharmaceutical breakdown of medicines, and how one might illegally obtain such medicines.

Should be easy, right?

Either that, or I could start my surfer story which is ultimately a happy tale of guy meets guy, fluff and smut and not much plot. 🙂 I have no cover, no title, no freakin’ clue at all really, but I’ll let the characters decide… whoever wants to talk first wins 🙂

I’m also taking my Cronin’s Key trilogy out of KU (Amazon exclusivity) and putting them into other retail stores. I’ll post the links asap!


Translation news:

Spencer Cohen Book Two is now in ITALIAN!!  I’m so very excited about this and the response has been incredible!

You can find it at Triskell or Amazon


Audio news:

Cronin’s Key II will be out August first!!!  Eeeek! I can’t wait!!  You can find it at Tantor or Audible.


So that’s it for this week! I’m hoping to have a word count for something new to share with you next week! Until then…  ❤