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Jun. 11th, 2012

darkest midnight

[sticky post] My Publications and where to find them

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

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 short story ebook (m/m erotic, BDSM, fantasy) - Sorry OOP.

Snowbound in Dreamspinner Press’s anthology, Necking ebook & paperback (m/m erotic, historical paranormal, sequel to The Darkest Midnight in December) Sorry it's now OOP

In the Hands of Gods in Dreamspinner Press’s anthology, A Brush of Wings ebook & paperback (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.

May. 21st, 2015

kept tears

Guest Blogger - Louise Lyons

I'm happy to have Louise Lyons here with her newest release. It sounds really good. I can't resist magic and vampires, after all.


The Eye of the Beholder banner

The Eye of the Beholder

Release Date: April 29, 2015

Publisher: Wilde City Press

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Length: 103,000 words


Final cover artVince Voss is obsessed with physical beauty. Influenced by his aunt, with whom he runs a modeling business, he has become unfeeling and cruel. Vince’s mother, who was a witch in life, returns to show him a better way to live. She casts a spell to take away his good looks and he finds himself challenged with searching for someone to love him, without the use of physical attraction.

Vince eventually meets a lonely male vampire, Peter, and despite his reluctance to get involved with him, he decides to use Peter to help him lift the spell. Little does he that at first, Peter is using him too, and he finally realizes what’s really important when he falls for Peter along the way.


Vince realized he had no problem kissing a boy. He liked Peter, and he was definitely attracted to him. Vince’s body had already begun to react again, even though there was, as yet, no passion in the kiss. His cock filled, lengthening against his thigh, and he resisted the urge to adjust it with his free hand. Instead he slid his arm around Peter, but he resisted and pulled away. Vince opened his eyes in surprise and watched Peter shuffle around and change position. He faced the back of the sofa and settled himself across Vince’s legs so they could reach each other more comfortably. Peter laid a hand over Vince’s heart, and its beat increased. Their lips reconnected, and Vince melted into it. He slid both arms around Peter and deepened the caress until his tongue was in Peter’s mouth, teasing and exploring.

Peter responded heatedly. Soft moans and whimpers came from him as he crushed his lips against Vince’s and stroked his chest. Vince felt Peter’s icy touch on his skin and realized Peter had unbuttoned his shirt without him noticing. Vince shivered and trembled in response. His cock was painfully hard, straining against his fly. He struggled to breathe through his nose as the kiss continued, their tongues thrusting against each other within Peter’s mouth, almost in an imitation of fucking. Vince groaned as the thought put an image in his head—Peter’s pale body beneath Vince, their clothes gone. It was the farthest Vince had allowed his imagination to go, yet the idea didn’t shock him, only thrilled him. Vince changed position, still holding Peter but pushing him off his legs. Vince stretched out along the sofa so that they lay together, never once breaking the kiss.

Peter was as hard as Vince. Vince felt it as their lower bodies touched. Peter continued to stroke his hand over Vince’s chest, pausing occasionally to circle one nipple, then the other, until the small nubs hardened in response to the unaccustomed—and chilly—touch. Peter’s erection, reasonably free inside his loose trousers, repeatedly bumped against Vince. Vince realized Peter was gyrating his hips, trying to rub himself against Vince’s thigh without being too obvious about it. Vince pulled his head back, gasping for breath, and met Peter’s eyes. Once again, they’d darkened with arousal. Vince’s head spun, and he blinked rapidly.

“I thought you wanted to take things slow?”

“I can’t help it. I’ve never felt like this,” Peter whispered.

“Nor have I.” The dizzy, drunken feeling was suddenly more unpleasant than puzzling, and Vince heard rushing in his ears. His mouth was dry, and his heart raced so frantically he wondered if he could be suffering from the onset of some kind of attack. His cock was impossibly hard, painfully so, and the rest of his body was racked with shivers. “Fuck, I don’t feel so good.” The words sounded slurred, and Vince closed his eyes as Peter’s face whirled in front of him.

“Shit. Vince, look at me.” Peter slid off the sofa, knelt beside it, and touched his face. “Vince!”

Vince forced his heavy eyelids up and instantly lowered them again, fearing he might throw up. He heard Peter’s voice faintly through the rushing in his ears. The vampire uttered a string of expletives, interspersed with “I’m sorry” over and over. Peter laid a cold hand on Vince’s forehead, and Vince took deep breaths, hoping he wouldn’t lose consciousness. What the hell is happening to me?

“God, I’m so sorry,” Peter said more clearly. He had removed his hand from Vince’s face, and Vince risked another look at him. Vince’s heartbeat had slowed, and the room no longer spun around him. He blinked and focused on Peter’s face.

“What happened? Did I pass out or something?”

“No. I’m sorry,” Peter said again.

“What for?”

“Are you feeling okay?”

“Yes, I think so.” Vince pushed himself up a little and rubbed a hand over his face. “Why do you keep saying you’re sorry?”

“I just… I have to go.” In a second, Peter was gone. Vince didn’t have to go to his bedroom to know that Peter had already slipped out of the window and vanished. Vince stayed where he was, accompanied only by the sounds from the TV.

“What the fuck was that?” Vince muttered.

Buy Links

Wilde City Press

Amazon US

Amazon UK


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Author Bio

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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May. 17th, 2015

kept tears

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia

The constant media bombardment of headlines like this are all the proof that's needed to show we still have a long way to go (and kudos to that priest for being brave enough to add his voice against the hatred). To me it is extremely sad when people take religions that are supposed to be about love and understanding and twist them into weapons of hate.

Of course using religion is only one way to root the hate deep and quite obviously not ever religious person is a hateful bigot. Humans on the whole are excellent at finding ways to dislike things that 'aren't like us,' whatever that 'us' might be. The only way I see to help make things better is education. I'm not the only one who sees this of course. The people who would prefer to keep a group downtrodden know this is well. We have religious schools who'll fire and/or expel you for so much as supporting someone from the QUILTBAG spectrum. There have been cases where just trying to look a little like the opposite sex has been cause for expulsion (girls with shaved heads, boys with long hair, you get the idea). Laws forbidden even mentioning the word gay. Proposals to stop transgendered people from using restrooms and worse, people trying to get support to actually kill off anyone not heteronormative.

It's easy to say 'it's not my fight.' I won't lie. I'm not in the QUILTBAG spectrum but that doesn't mean it's not my fight too. It has to be a shared fight. I can only hope that we can teach the kids to be more accepting, to be less cruel. Kids do not come into this world filled with hate. They learn it. Sometime they are actively spoonfed it. But teaching them not to hate, to accept diversity in all its forms is about the only real hope we have.

Note- I keep missing the actual blog sign up so this is technically not part of the hop.
kept tears

Sunday Small Talk

I don't have a lot of new things to share this week. I'm in the waiting stage for most things. I'm still waiting to hear about when the cover reveal for Of Heaven and Hell will be and am waiting on the cover art for both Snowbound and Soldiers of the Sun. And I believe there should be one last edit for the latter.

I haven't been writing too much this week as it's my big clean this horrible pigsty apartment and let's garden week. Gardening isn't going well. Neither is cleaning. I need a maid and I'm only half joking. I have nerve damage in my hand so any sort of scrubbing/cleaning/sweeping motion can be very painful.

I did, however, progress to the point where I have 80% of the existing scenes of Blood Red Roulette in the correct logical order. I know there is some repetition but I'm leaving it for now. I want to get through this and finish it. I'll weed all that junk out when I do the first complete read through. Wish me luck.

What I'm getting a little excited about is that this time next weekend I'll be sitting in a seminar in San Antonio. I've never been there before. I'll admit it. Texas really isn't my thing, especially desert climes but that doesn't mean I won't try to wring the most out of this trip. I always look forward to researching new places. You never know when you'll find story fodder. I'm planning a few ghost trips and I'm staying in the Menger Hotel. It's one of the most haunted hotels in America! I'm excited for that. If nothing else, it's chocked full of history including being the recruiting grounds for Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. That has to be good for something. I'll be right on the Riverwalk.

So if nothing else, I should at least get enough for a short story of some sort. And if I don't, I have a friend who has a vampire character who is from here and hasn't had a chance to explore it more than Google Earth allows. I can at least gather info for her and help another author out. That's just as good as getting something for myself.

May. 10th, 2015

kept tears

Sunday Small Talk

It's been another busy week here which is a good thing! One of the coolest things is I learned Snowbound will have cover art. I didn't expect that for a rereleased short story (It was in the acceptance stuff but I really didn't think that would happen. Shows what I know). I've sent in the cover art specs for it and I just got back the galleys for that. I'll go read that tonight.

I also just finished the galley proof read through of A Wolf in the Fold. I'm pretty sure Wayward Ink's anthology, Of Heaven and Hell will be out in about a month. The cover release party will be coming soon. I'll be sure to hook you all up with that info when I have it!

I sent back the edits for Soldiers of the Sun. Those were the easiest edits I have ever done. I'm getting really excited for this novel. It won't be out for a a few months yet but man this year is flying by. How is it Mother's Day already (and yes Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's on my list!)?

I'm still plugging away on Blood Red Roulette. I'm about to the point where I can put in vast amounts of what I wrote for Nano in November. Last week I brought you Arrigo Giancarlo so this week you can meet Luc. He's had a hard life. His mom 'walked out' years ago. Katrina took his home and his father stopped his and his brother's education in middle school back when they lived in the bayou. This left Luc tied tightly to his abusive relatives. They assume he's gay and they are homophobic rage-aholics so it's a tough life. He thinks meeting Arrigo is going to be the best thing that will ever happen to him. He has no idea what lurks in Arrigo's past waiting to strike.

It doesn't help Luc's somewhat waif-like  photo Luc_zps1riycwr8.jpg

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ANd some cool stuff going on here. Dreamspinner's having sales to celebrate their 8th anniversary. I've been with them a while now!

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So come check out the sale. Pick up something off my back list or from any number of the authors here! You're bound to find something cool. Check out Dreamspinner’s store

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ANd I picked up this link in a conversation on Queer Sci-Fi's comm today and thought I'd share it. It seems helpful. Unslimy marketing

May. 3rd, 2015

kept tears

Catching Up

I've been wanting to do a weekly catch up post ever since what's up wednesdays closed up. I've not been doing great at that and I don't have a catchy title for it but I'm working on it. Anyhow let me get to the catching up.

1. I was reminded yesterday that my werewolf rescue 'dog' short story that ran in the 2013 Advent Calendar, Peace in the Valley is being translated into Korean. That is so beyond cool. I love the idea of this. I'll be getting an ebook of this. I'm hoping the cover is included in that because I want to see it. I'd love to see John and Anthony as a manhwa. A girl can dream, right?

2. I'm waiting second edits on Soldiers of the Sun and Snowbound. And I'm not sure if there'll be third edits on A Wolf in the Fold. Maybe, maybe not. We're getting close to a publication date on that. It's due in June. Woot!

3.I mentioned winning Campnano and I was working on Blood Red Roulette. This story is making me tear my hair out. Because I had to expand an old short story to get this one, I made an outline. I rarely do that because outlining usually manages to kill my stories dead. Don't ask me why. In this case I apparently made the outline while high or drunk or something. This thing is in a complete disarray. I'm not sure I have all the scenes in the most logical order yet and I just came across a scene that must go. To be fair it was one of the ones I wrote when I first started this story 20 years ago (yes, that's right, it's ancient). It looks like something a much younger self came up with. It's crap and crap need to be flushed.

I'm still working things out. I'm the type who wants to take as little artistic license as I can with real places. I didn't want to just invent places when I could use real ones. My biggest trouble isn't the Strip. That's so easy to research. It's the scuzziest sides of Vegas that I don't know, don't particularly want to know but need for this story. There is a certain amount of truth that the run down areas of most cities bear some resemblance to one another and I used to be an inner city home health doctor. I know the feel of that side of town. What I need to figure out is where in Vegas that is.

I did print out (because I can read and visual better on paper than the screen. Yes, I know that's a little old fashioned) the first nine chapters because that's where I might want to rearrange a few things. Well the first 13 but I'm still working on 10-13. I do plan to get this done this year. I need to. Wish me luck.

And how about some references for Arrigo Giancarlo

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I'm using the actor Giulio Berruti as a reference for him. Quite a handsome fellow.

Apr. 27th, 2015

kept tears

Sorry for the radio silence

It's been a very hard few weeks at my day job and I've had no time for much of anything. So to get on with some of the cool things that have happened here, I did get through the first round of editing for the reprinting of my short story Snowbound. I'm a little surprised that there was so much to do but some has to do with changing philosophies and styles in the five years since this went to print.

I'm still more than a little stunned at that figure. Five years. I hadn't realized I've been living with Temple, Agni and Caleb. I'm glad though that I'm getting this chance to have this short story out there since it is the bridge between the novella and the novel.

I did finish Camp Nano.  photo Camp-Winner-2015-Twitter-Profile_zpslptqthsx.jpg

Okay I admit it, I had a small word count because of how much work I needed to do upfront on expanding Blood Red Roulette. I'm not sure I've ever struggled quite as much as I am with this one. Right now it's a hunt. Do you know how hard it is to find a single person who doesn't want to be found in a town like Vegas? Also do you know how boring this can be? So I'm struggling to give scenes that attempt to move it on without rushing it like it originally was and yet not so slow that we're going 'oh come on now.' So this does boil down to a lot of non-action in the beginning other than people watching. Oh boy.

What was both exciting and frustrating at the same time was I was asked by the head librarian if I wanted to do the local author book fair at the library this fall. I said, you DO know what I write. SHe said she didn't care and I DO appreciate that. However, the last fair was comprised of one disabled horror writer (I did get his book but I haven't read it yet), one quilter, one book on child bearing/rearing (who tried to hard sell me. I don't have kids. No, my friends with kids don't need this either. I'm nearly fifty for god's sakes. Most of my friends with kids are to the 'almost grandparents' stage. No, if I get it for my cousins' 20 year old kids I might get punched), another fantasy self pubber (whose book I had read and was not impressed with but I made nice to all the same) and FOUR Christian romance authors.

Do I want to be the only gay erotica author in that mess? I've decided no. Also I like to keep a distance between me and my students. THey don't know what I write or what name I write under. It's not that I'm ashamed in the least. They know I'm one of the faculty advisors for the LGBT organization on campus, for example. But I'd rather not have anyone at the school know what I write. Call me paranoid but I could see it being used against me if push came to shove and there is a lot of shoving right now (My college is in financial trouble). Maybe if/when I write some YA stuff then I'll do it. But I think there are probably better markets for me right now than a library in a highly Baptist chunk of Appalachia. Even if this library was 50 miles away in the much more liberal Athens OH (Home of Ohio University) I would do it but as is, I think it's not going to avail me much in the way of sales. It might get my tires slashed though.

Apr. 12th, 2015

kept tears

What's New

I should probably think of a nice cohesive title for updates on what I've been up to now that What's Up Wed. is defunct.

Anyhow, I do have a lot of newish things to talk about. I got round two edits for my story Wolf in the Fold that will be out in Wayward Ink's Of Heaven and Hell anthology. Again mostly just small stuff. I'm glad that story seems to be standing up well on its foundations.

I got the cover specs for Soldiers of the Sun which is both fun and a little intimidating. The hardest part really is the innocuous even fun sounding question of 'what would your dream cover look like?' and that's when you realize, you do not have an artistic knack. I might as well be staring at one of these bland beige apartment walls because I can't imagine it. What I can imagine sort of highlights the disconnect between what I think this novel is vs what it'll be sold as. Primarily it will be listed as romance. However, what runs through my head are all the intense battle scenes that make up a 1930s demon hunter novel. I could imagine a battle scene cover without much trouble but will that successfully sell something billed as romance? I do not know. I do know a cuddly, 'sexy' cover doesn't capture how I feel about the novel. Big dilemma.

But the biggest news is that in hammering out what it means to be a story in the Soldiers of the Sun series, Dreamspinner is going to rerelease my short story, Snowbound. A little history here: Snowbound was one of the first stories I ever sold to DSP and it was for their now OOP anthology, Necking. It introduced Temple, Caleb and Agni after a battle that claimed Temple's partner and brings them together as a threesome. (It was a m/m/m anthology). But those boys weren't content with a short story. They had so much more to tell.

Originally I had intended for the novella, The Darkest Midnight in December to be in the Christmas advent calendar but it wasn't really a sweet Christmas story. It's technically, in part, about an old school Christmas tale where naughty kids are kidnapped and eaten. Also about that time, DSP decided anthology stories needed to be stand alone characters (which makes sense). I asked would they like it as a novella if I expanded it. They did and it's technically a prequel to Snowbound and in it there isn't a threesome but two couples, Agni/Caleb and Temple/Li.

So here comes Soldiers of the Sun and it's a sequel to both of those. While Snowbound, The Darkest Midnight in December & Soldiers of the Sun are all stand-alone, it would be helpful to read them in order. (There are two other freebie stories lying around too. I need to get them polished and put up where people could find them and use them as enticements this summer). So Snowbound will be rereleased this summer as well with a little bit of an edit since it's been awhile. That is very exciting.

And they decided that I could use Soldiers of the Sun for the novel and the umbrella title. That makes me happy.

And in non-writing news, me and my student's research was well received at the Academy of Science presentation. That is also happy-making. It's been a tough year so far so I'm glad I have this going right for me.

Apr. 5th, 2015

kept tears

100 Tings #90-Turning Your Characters Stupid to amp the tension

Turning Your Characters Stupid to amp the tension is something I see all too often. It's something I fear doing unintentionally myself. I read a lot of mysteries and it's unfortunately a pretty common trope. The author wants to give us a heart-pounding, everything-on-the-line ending with our protagonist in mortal danger but rather than work on a way to do that naturally, we get the lazy way out.

For instance let's look at the last two mysteries I read. One has our heroine go off to a strange city by herself, telling no one she's there. She knows the bad guys are after something in an ancient Mayan ruin and have killed to get it. So what does she do? Goes into the ruins by herself completely unarmed. Because that's what people do in mysteries some times. They're one step up from the ding dongs in horror flicks that Geico so beautifully mocked in their commercial last year. I guess we could excuse her because she's an amateur detective, but really? She even knows the bad guys are there because she's watching them and thinks she can sneak past him.

Maybe a professional detective would know better. Not so much, the book I read before this one was about a lady cop and she also goes hiking off into the woods without telling her boss, her partner or anyone so she can spy on the bad guy who has kidnapped, raped and tortured numerous women. Yep, because this is what smart cops do, go in without back up. At least she was armed.

And it's not just the ladies doing it. It's one of the reasons I stopped reading the Jonathan Kellerman Alex Delaware books. How many times could I watch Alex do something stupid just to get that 'exciting' ending? Even authors who are expert in their fields have done this. Kathy Reichs, Linda Fairstein and others have had characters do something so incredibly dumb they're lucky to be alive and somehow not lose their jobs. As much as I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel, all too often the tension was in the characters not sharing something vital and doing something dumb instead.

Then I had to sit back and think to myself, have I done this? If I have, is it at least justified? Humans DO make stupid choices after all (though I still maintain a trained detective knows better than what I see half them doing). I'm struggling with this right now in my Vampires in Vegas story. In the very original story which I wrote back in the 1990s, I was far less experienced as a writer and I have to say, Arrigo was a complete nitwit and the villainess, Eleni even stupider.

Granted some of that was an artifact of trying to tell the story in the much more restrictive word counts back then. 5-7K was considered generous. I was rushing the story through. Now that I've completely reworked this and am turning it into something newer (basically all that remains of the original is the idea), I'm struggling to make them more believable. However, if Arrigo is as sharp as he should be, the main action would never happen. Eleni is smarter in this as well. She does still send taunting letters but anonymously because killers DO that sometimes.

But that leaves me with how to make Arrigo's less diligent aspects seem realistic and believable. I don't want it to look like I took the lazy way out. It's harder than it sounds. If Arrigo does everything like he should, the Eleni should fail almost immediately. I did add in a new level, a partner for Eleni, one Arrigo doesn't know about. That makes it much harder on him. He might think he's got the bases covered. Lust is also in the mix and that can often lead to bad choices.

Regardless, its a harder row to hoe and I'm not sure I'm getting it right. Time will tell. My question to you then is, how do you avoid making your characters do stupid things just to get that tense ending? Or do you avoid it?

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