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Jun. 11th, 2012

darkest midnight

[sticky post] My Publications and where to find them

Once Upon a Time in the Weird West anthology

Love Wins(charity anthology benefiting the Pulse shooting victims)

Love is Love Poetry anthology (charity anthology benefiting the Pulse shooting victims)

Soldiers of the Sun published with Dreamspinner Press as part of my Soldiers of the Sun Series (see also Snowbound and The Darkest Midnight in December) . buy it here in paperback or here as an eBook

Snowbound published with Dreamspinner Press. buy it here

A Wolf in the Fold published with Wayward Ink Press as part of their Of Heaven and Hell anthology buy it here - OOP

The Light of Winter published with Dreamspinner Press as part of their 2014 Advent Calendar. buy it here

Nothing But Himself published with Less than Three Press. YA paranormal. Project Fierce charity Anthology, Everyone Deserves a Home

Triskelion free (but you have to be a member of M/M Romance to see it)

If Two of Them Are Dead published with Dreamspinner Press. Steampunk/mystery, m/m buy it here

Kept Tears published with Dreamspinner Press. Urban Fantasy, m/m set in Pittsburgh. find the ebook here

and the paper back here

The Darkest Midnight in December novella ebook (m/m erotic, historical paranormal)

Peace in the Valley part of Dreamspinners 2012 Advent calendar Peace in the Valley (m/m erotica, werewolf)

Crisis in Faith short story ebook (m/m erotic, urban fantasy)

Ghost of Jupiter in Dreamspinner Press’s anthology, Cross Bones ebook & paperback (m/m erotic, SF)

Haunted in Dreamspinner Press’s anthology, Two Tickets to Paradise ebook & paperback (m/m erotic, urban fantasy)

A Brief Respite web-based
m/m erotic, historical paranormal, sequel to The Darkest Midnight in December and Snowbound, Freebie!)

Unquiet Ghosts in Circlet’s anthology, Like a Sacred Desire ebook
(f/m erotic, fantasy)

Mysterious Spirit (m/m erotic, BDSM, fantasy) - Sorry OOP.

Snowbound in Dreamspinner Press’s anthology, NeckingThe Darkest Midnight in December</i>) Sorry it's now OOP but now rereleased, see above.

In the Hands of Gods in Dreamspinner Press’s anthology, A Brush of Wings (historical m/m erotic, paranormal) Sorry it's now OOP.

Feb. 13th, 2024

kept tears

Free Story - A Brief Respite

And for you, a free story from me! This was originally a freebie on DSP's site for Halloween It's from my series on 1930's demon hunters and is m/m/m. While it is a stand alone it can be considered a sequel to my novella The Darkest Midnight in December ( blurb and purchase info here) and my short story Snowbound in Dreamspinner's anthology Necking ( blurb and purchase info here)

A Brief RespiteCollapse )

Ah, wish I had time right now to construct a website so this could be a PDF download for you all.

Jun. 24th, 2017

kept tears

Rainbow Snippets

I'm traveling back to PA again (I'm running all over this summer) so hopefully I won't be too late on reading everyone's stuff.

I'm continuing with These Haunted Hills. We left off with Josh talking to his partner and best friend Cassia about meeting Brendan. I've skipped to the part where Josh tells her they're going to take Brendan ghost hunting on the condition neither of them can geek out over Brendan being who he is.

“If I can spend the night ghost hunting with freaking B.A. Halloran and all I have to do is rein in the geek, consider it done. This is so exciting.”

“That also means we can’t blog about it or any of that. Maybe, if this goes well, we can at least get pictures with him. I don’t want to overwhelm him because seriously you can tell he’s fighting the black monster.”

Cassia hummed into the phone. They’d grown up together and Josh had weathered many storms with her clinical depression. If anyone knew the mire Brendan was in, it was her. “Can’t blame him there. Tell you what, I’ll pick out a great place to explore, how’s that?”

If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!

p.s. didn't realize this wasn't crossposting. sigh.

Jun. 17th, 2017

kept tears

Rainbow Snippets

Sorry I'm running a little late. It was my 50th birthday today so I was out and running around. I'm a little stunned at being half a century old....

This is still These Haunted Hills. Josh and Brendan have parted ways and Josh is calling Cassia, his friend and ghost hunting partner.

“Is it really him?” she asked before he even got the chance to say hello.

“It is! Oh my god, Cass, it was all I could do to keep from jumping around like a little kid and falling in the creek.”

“What’s he like? Can I meet him?”

“He’s quiet, a little sad actually.” Joshua paused, yes sad was right. Sad mixed with a hint of desperate but he didn’t want to think about that.

If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!

Apr. 17th, 2017

kept tears

N is for Names

N is for names. If there is anything harder than putting a title on a story (I’m horrible at it) it’s finding the names for your characters. Of sure, on rare occasion I’ll end up with someone who pops in my head fully named and confident about it, like Temple Chevalier from Soldiers of the Sun. Mostly I waste hours going through name books (back in the old days and occasionally now) and hanging out at Behind the Name. online. I love that you can sort by ethnicity because on more than one occasion the character’s heritage is important to he or she is.

Finding the right name can be agonizing for the author. I’ve been known to change a character’s name mid-way through. Thank God for the search function in Word because I put it to good use. I’ve also been known to put in place holders like XXX or YYY to use the global find and replace later on once that jerk of a character finally chooses a name. I’ve even held contests to help name characters. My usual beta will help me and then say ‘you won’t use them. You never like my names.’ That’s true (and probably goes both ways).

And that brings me to the other difficult thing about naming characters. What works for someone might not work for another. There is nothing you can do about that of course. I once knew a woman who literally hated her parents in part for her name which was a bit different but I thought it was beautiful and would have loved it. There’s a romance author I’ve run across recently (I don’t read a lot of het romance but this cover struck me and I looked her up) and the names were so bizarre and so weirdly spelled that I found it off putting. Heck I find it off-putting even with my students where you have a relatively normal name spelled so strangely as to make their child ‘different.’

Some names, however, should probably send up red flags to us and make us rethink. The fantasy genre for instance usually has bizarre names and using regular names might give the fantasy reader pause. I mean would Frodo, Samwise, Gandalf and Aragon have been the same if they had been named John, Tim, Dave and Bob? Conversely if you’re writing contemporary fiction and you named your protagonist, Dylton we might look at you strange (Charlaine Harris does that in her Midnight Texas story, all the characters have slightly weird names like Fiji, Xylda, Manfred and Bobo but they ARE slightly weird people).

Some names make us judgy even if we don’t mean to be. If I told you this woman’s name was Cinnamon you probably would assign jobs in your head to her (like I know I’ve seen strippers with that name, just saying) and never guess she writes science text books (she does). Some really make you think what were the parents were thinking (and if that’s part of your story then by all means go for it!) Like the race car driver, Dick Trickle, with all due respect to the man who has since passed. Or like someone I interact with professionally whose actual name is Precious. That’s a cute nickname for a baby sure but now she has to endure that name professionally and to an outsider, hearing a doctor call a nurse that would sound like grounds for a sexual harassment suit.

Names are very important. My great grandmother on Mom’s side of the family refused to Anglicize her children’s names when she came here from Italy. She was forced to do it for herself by the government (going from Guiseppina to Josephine) but her children she gave Italian names. On Dad’s side of the family they hid their Italian heritage. Many people did because of the racism of the day. We use names as clues to heritage and sexual identity, for better or worse (often worse). My actual name is unisex. When I noticed I couldn’t get a single response to my job search back when I was seeing patients I removed ‘American Association of Women Podiatrists’ from my resume and got dozens of call backs because they thought I was male (and then hung up on me when they learned I wasn’t). A prejudiced character could easily use a character’s last name to judge him or her without even meeting them, assuming for instance Lanisha is African American or Po Chin is Chinese or Stern is Jewish (Hell I’ve seen people doing that looking over resumes and tossing the ones they think could possibly be non-White, non-Christian because that is their only clue since ethnicity etc. would be off limits when it comes to job applications, and yes it made me see red.)

So yes, naming those main characters is a time consuming job, fraught with emotions (damn you why don’t you like ANY of these names?). Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes you just want to murder the character before you’ve even written about him.

Apr. 16th, 2017

kept tears

Happy Easter

To all my friends who celebrate.

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kept tears

Me is for Me

 M is for Me. I thought this might be a good time to really introduce myself to everyone.

This is the blurb I hide behind: Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.

It’s pretty true but I am, naturally so much more. I’m my parents’ only daughter. I grew up in the country outside of Pittsburgh and I remain a country girl to this day. Cities make me itchy. I love popping in to enjoy all the things a city has to offer and fleeing back to where I can see stars and listen to the wind in the trees.

I was the wrong girl in high school, too smart, too weird, too much a loner to fit in. Hell, I AM Lisa Simpson right down to the saxophone. I only fit in with the other Dungeons & Dragons playing SF/comic book geeks. (I’m house hunting now and seriously considering living an hour from work just to be closer to my D&D playing friends). I hate high school and almost everyone in it (even now there are some I won’t friend on FB because of how horrible they were to me in h.s.).

I blossomed in college, working on three degrees at once (chemistry, biology and English. I didn’t quite finish that last one). I was in three bands, in three plays a year, worked three jobs, was an officer in my sorority for all four years and did a massive amount of ghost hunting back in the days before everyoen was running around with gauss meters. I went to podiatric medical school from there. I’ve been a doctor in Harlem and on Pine Ridge reservation. My specialty was diabetic wound kill.

The first time my life went sideways was 1992 at the end of the year. Between October and April of 93 I gained over 150 pounds. No one knew why. I was at the gym every week. I was barely eating because who has time in med school? They blamed the stress of getting a residency. It would be more than a decade before we realized I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I have yet to lose any weight in spite of medically guided weight loss programs. Much of my hair fell out and I’m severely diabetic as a result.
The second time my life was ripped apart was 2000. A patient kicked me (he was demented, I can’t blame him) and ruptured the nerve in my right hand. My surgical career was over. I fought for six months but I didn’t repair. (Watching Doctor Strange last year made me cry for the first 20 minutes or so. I’ve been THROUGH those horrible PT sessions). Eventually me and my half dead hand went back to school in Florida. I lived with a friend in Cassadaga, the psychic community. That was cool. I do have some feeling back in my hand but it’s often painful, stiff and weak.

From there I moved into being a professor in Appalachia (near the Hocking Hills in OH and Point Pleasant and the Mothman in West Virginia). It’s a challenge. It’s not my dream. That died with one well aimed kick. But I am good at it.

And through it all, I’ve written. It started with Star Wars fan fiction after seeing the original movie when I was 10. I’ve written fan fiction for forty years now (oh, good god). I remain a fan of SF, urban fantasy, fantasy and mystery and that is what I write.

What else can I tell you about me? I love to swim and hike. I love music and books beyond all reason. I love to cook. I’m still a ghost hunter. I travel and I love historical travel and museums. I love to talk and talk and talk and I am LOUD. I make my own jewelry and desperately wish I could draw my own characters (but I can’t).

That is the story of Me. Chapter One at any rate.


Apr. 15th, 2017

kept tears

Rainbow Snippets

Still continuing with These Haunted Hills, still not writing nearly enough for Camp Nano. Sigh. This picks up after Brendan shows disbelief that the ghost haunting the cave is that of a 1920s lady (and that is the real haunting ascribed to the area and Joshua's answer below is about as best we have as far as answers are concerned. (and sorry I think it's 8 sentences today, is bad).

“I agree though this was a popular place at the turn of the century with various lodges and small hotels in the region like the one we’ll investigate. There was even a small town near here but it's long gone. While many night time hikes have reported seeing the lady, even ones not here specifically to ghost hunt, I’ve not see her nor have I found any records of anyone dying here.”

“Do you always look into the records for the haunted you investigative?”

“Yes, I’m first and foremost a scientist. I like collaborating evidence. Here at Ash Cave the best I can do is say it’s highly likely to have seen some death, but none I can document. I do have some evps I can let you hear.”

Brendan straightened, eyes bright. “Really? I’d love that.”

Here's a little proof of the long term activity in the area. Some of these date back to the early 1800s but the one here is turn of the last century. For some reason we feel the need to carve our names into everything.

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If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!

Apr. 14th, 2017

kept tears

L is for Love

L is for love. It’s a natural that I’d choose this for L. Most of my stories are LGBT romance after all. For that matter, I love what I do. I love books and I love writing, which is a good thing because for the most part, you’re not getting rich doing this. Oddly enough that’s what I found the least believable about Castle, how rich Richard was. For every Stephen King, JK Rowling and James Patterson are thousands of midlisters who can’t (or barely can) quit the day job. And I’m okay with that because I DO love what I do.

But that’s actually not what I want to talk about in regards to love. Last year I was represented in two anthologies with the name Love in the title. Love Wins and Love is Love. While I am proud to be in both, it is a very sad thing that either of them was necessary. Both were a way to help support the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. I find it eerie that as I sat down to write this blog post more information about that shooting surfaced ( See it here ) and in Russian they’re putting up internment camps and/or killing LGBT people. It’s a terrifying thing on so many levels.

And the truth is, as I see it, I can’t do much on a world-wide scale so I concentrate on doing what I can in my own backyard (like steering students to the Southeast Ohio Equality group), or anthologies like this. I might not be able to go to Florida to help (and I did go to school in Orlando so I do have a connection to it, even if I’m so not a Florida fan in general).

Both anthologies give all proceeds to charities in the Orlando area that can help directly. I jumped at the chance to help and maybe it’s not much but it’s what I could do. Love is Love is a poetry anthology and that is a huge stretch for me. I don’t do a lot of poetry. I’m not sure it’s my strong suit but I have always enjoyed poetry. I was going to read it on campus last week but unfortunately the poetry slam was the same day as another event I was obligated to be at.

Love Wins is one of two charity anthologies Dreamspinner put out to help the Pulse shooting (in fact many publishers did similar ones). My story here More Than His Scars is in the Kept Tears universe (see yesterday’s post). On the anniversary of the bombing that cost him his arm, Aaron’s friends, along with his lover, Rhys take him to Kennywood amusement park to help keep his spirits up. In another strange convergence, today a brand-new review of this anthology went up and the reviewer got the humor in the story. I’m happy for that.

Circling back to the main theme here, love is love. To me it doesn’t matter if it’s between a man and a woman, two men, two women. Love is blind to gender, to religion and skin color. It deeply saddens me that not everyone agrees on that. There could be people reading this post who don’t (well not any of my actual friends. I know they do) and I’m prepared for that. I can’t change the hearts of everyone but I will do what I can within my own circle.

If you want to buy either of these anthologies (again all proceeds go to those LGBT charities) you can find them here and thank you.

Love Wins (which is on sale along with ALL DSP titles this weekend)
Love is Love

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Apr. 13th, 2017

kept tears

K is for Kept Tears

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K is for Kept Tears. Hopefully I can get this uploaded this time as my first attempt to write this corrupted. However, nothing will stop me from telling everyone about my first novel. I still love this one to death and not just because it was my first. I got to pull a plethora of my favorite things together in this.

You got to meet Aaron, one of the protagonists in A is for… He’s a disabled veteran and as I said then, ever since I was a resident doctor at a series of V.A. hospitals I’ve wanted to have a character who incorporated some of the best and some of the worst of my former patients.

Aaron, like me, grew up outside of Pittsburgh in the country and through him I was able to showcase some of the fun things about Pittsburgh (and there are plenty of fun things there). Aaron is a geeky grad student who thinks he might be ready to date again, having come to some sort of peace with his amputated arm and rearranged life. When he spots Rhys at a steampunk party, he thinks he’s found the hottest guy there, a man so out of his league he couldn’t possibly have a shot. When Rhys proves him wrong, Aaron has to rethink the whole ‘I’m ready to date’ thing. With his best friend, Corinne prodding him on, Aaron steps out into the dating world and quickly is swept up with Rhys.

What he couldn’t possibly have imagined is Rhys is something out of the fantasy novels Aaron so loves. Before he knows it, Aaron has a wicked fey, Morcant, Rhys’s ex, after him. Elves, dullahans, fairies and nixes, all the things Aaron has loved as fiction prove to be all too real and potentially dangerous. Rhys is Tylwyth Teg, a crown prince of the fey and he is centuries old (heck even his children are all over a hundred). With a life that long there is baggage and this particularly baggage could be deadly. Morcant wants to make Rhys suffer and if Aaron has to die to achieve that, Morcant is thrilled to do it.

Urban fantasy and steampunk are some of my favorite things and it was fun weaving them into this. People seemed to enjoy the story and it was a Rainbow awards finalist. I’m never not going to be proud of this novel. I love Aaron and Rhys and would love to revisit their world.

If you want to learn more I’ll leave you with the blurb and where to find it. Also, check out Paul Richmond’s beautiful cover!

Having left most of his arm and his self-confidence behind in the Afghanistan desert, young veteran Aaron Santori has enough on his plate learning to use his prosthetic arm. Attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh makes life both interesting and challenging. Mentally, he's ill prepared for meeting Rhys Edwards, a young-adult novelist from Wales and everything Aaron could want in a man. Between the scars from the explosion and his PTSD, he’s reluctant to date. Ready or not, though, Aaron finds himself jumping into the deep end of the relationship waters.
What Aaron couldn’t possibly know is that Rhys isn’t human at all. As a prince of the Tylwyth Teg, Rhys is fae, with a list of enemies he’s accumulated over the past few centuries—among them a former lover, Morcant, who is back to make Rhys’s life miserable. An unwitting pawn in their Machiavellian fae politics, Aaron only knows he’s falling in love, never suspecting love might be his death sentence.

Find Kept Tears here.

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