Out Now: Immortal Valentine


 

Immortal Valentine Cover

Cover photo by Jackson Photografix ~ Cover design by Babski Creative Studios

I released Immortal Valentine with Amber Allure press for Valentine’s Day in 2012. It remains one of my favorite stories–who doesn’t love vampires, right? And Caleb and Angelo were a truly special pairing to me. But deep down I always felt the execution could have been something more. I’m grateful to the folks at Amber Allure for helping me to put a story into the world that I loved so much. I’m also grateful to them for returning the rights on this book that meant so much to me, so that I could polish it both inside and out, and make the whole thing shine brighter. I’m also grateful to Tere Michaels for helping me to re-edit Immortal Valentine, for pointing out the places where she thought it was good, but it could be even better. 🙂

If you’ve read the original version of Valentine, I thank you. Not a whole lot has changed from the original version. A couple of extended scenes, a little extra dialogue. And of course, a new cover and a lower price. And if you enjoyed it enough that you’d want to go and leave an Amazon review I’d be grateful, since all the old reviews went away when the original edition was taken off sale.

If you haven’t read Valentine yet, now’s the time to check it out – for the next few days it’ll be on sale for only .99 at Amazon and All Romance ebooks in ebook, and thanks to the badassery of Babski Creative studios, it is now also available in paperback.

About Immortal Valentine:

After a heart-pounding brush with danger on Valentine’s Day, Caleb runs into a handsome stranger and decides to roll the dice on a one-night-stand. Things don’t work out the way anyone intended when Caleb gets sick. He wakes up alone the next day, extremely confused and utterly embarrassed.

Angelo is an insomniac vampire who leads a solitary existence. Once a year he comes out of hiding—each Valentine’s Day—to soothe one lonely human soul while drinking the blood he needs to survive.

When Caleb falls ill, Angelo winds up connecting with a human as never before. But helping this human puts Angelo’s own life at risk.

Thanks again for spending time with my vampire and his human–I hope you enjoy.

Also, just a reminder that the Grand Adventures anthology will be out soon, and all proceeds go to help Eric Arvin and TJ Klune – do consider checking that out.

Review: Acrobat by Mary Calmes


AcrobatNote from Ellis: This week Mary brings her dark, gritty, sexiness to Boxer Falls, the free serial drama soap over at the M/M Romance group on Goodreads. Old wounds are opened, vengeance is inflicted, and a little smexing happens, too. Check it out, here.

Acrobat by Mary Calmes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a truly gorgeous love story, and I found everything about it to be a notch better than what Mary Calmes usually brings to the table, which is really saying something. The banter is easy and witty, the pacing kept me turning pages, and the slow-burn sensuality between the two heroes finally erupts into amazing, explosive sexual chemistry.

So you have Nate, a divorced, mid-40’s professor who is handsome and liked by many but has built sort of bubble around himself and his family. He hasn’t dated in awhile, but he does have this great neighbor kid who reminds him a little of his own son when his son was younger. The neighbor kid’s mom is dead and his guardian uncle works a lot so Nate helps to take care of him, even to the determent of the rare chance he gets at going on a date. All-around good guy, that Nate.

Enter Dreo, the neighbor kid’s guardian uncle who happens to work for the mob. He’s a big, sexy Italian man who uses lots of sexy Italian dialogue and has been quietly digging on Nate all this time that the hot professor has been helping his nephew with his homework after school. As Dreo works on getting himself out of “the family” and into a respectable profession, circumstances keep throwing the two men together and the the danger and tension climbs higher.

There’s an age differential here between the guys, but it really worked for me. Dreo is all alpha, and what he lacks in chronological years he more than makes up for with life experience. Nate, with his wisdom and education, matches Dreo equally and stands up to him when the situation calls for it in a way that a less educated man Dreo’s own age might not.

And oh God, did I mention how hot the sex was?

Loved it.

View all my reviews

Love Bites: New M/M Free Read


So awhile back my critique partner suggested I try to enter a short story contest–you wouldn’t know it, but my thing is writing novels. Still, with my busy schedule novellas and short stories have turned out to be the bulk of my work thus far. With my busy schedule, it’s just easier. And I seem to be okay at them. So I entered this paranormal-themed contest, knowing it was a long-shot to enter with a gay romance story, but figuring I’d at least give it a shot. The story didn’t final,  and after sitting around in the proverbial drawer for awhile, I decided to post it as a free read. It’s very short vampire/shifter story (there was a word-count limit), and you  can check it out on Goodreads.  I should warn that there’s not really any smexing in this one, there just wasn’t enough room with the allotted word count–but since I tend to often write high heat level, I figured maybe it couldn’t hurt to write a story without any, for a change. 😉 I hope you enjoy.

Soap Up and Get Down!


This week’s episode of Boxer Falls, our free soap opera-style serial drama is up! The last episode of each month one of the head writers takes a turn at the wheel, either Damon Suede, Poppy Dennison, or myself. This week was my turn, and I decided to bring everyone’s favorite “it” couple back together. Here’s an excerpt:

…Quinn found his fingertips digging into the arm of his chair at the wistful tone in Oz’s voice when he talked about Yoshi, not to mention the reminder that the guy could have been killed not too long ago. Fuck it all to hell. He sank lower in his hair and rubbed a hand over his forehead. “Look, Oz, I—“ I’m sorry I was a dick that morning you wanted to hang out in bed. I’m glad you weren’t hurt worse in that wreck. I’m being a tool right now because the thing is I keep thinking an awful lot that maybe I was wrong when I said no second dates. Only, it’d be nice if I actually thought you’d be willing to be seen with me in public and stuff. Looking around this huge-assed office and your dad’s massive fucking mansion, I don’t see how I’ve got the first thing to offer that would possibly make you wanna do that. Sure as hell I ain’t gonna magically grow a set of bangin’ D-cups. “I think it’s real manly sounding when you talk about sports equipment like that.”

Oz laughed. A real, deep, rumbly laugh that Quinn liked the sound of more than he should have. He stood and it was like the office had gotten smaller and darker. His clothes rubbed and constricted uncomfortably. He wanted his T-shirt and his kilt and his boots back.

He jerked a thumb toward the door. “I’d better get back out there. Thanks for patching me up, Oz.” He held out a hand, an effort to be well-mannered and civil.

When Oz slid his palm against Quinn’s and blue eyes met green, the spark between them was back again. Undeniable.

“You don’t have to go yet do you?” Oz’s voice was almost a whisper. A dangerously low, guttural, sexy as all fucking hell whisper…

Read the rest and catch up on the other episodes at the M/M Romance Group, on Goodreads.

Loving Kindness…


Thanks for joining me on the Hop Against Homophobia! Leave a comment at the end of this post to be entered to win a copy of my contemporary short story “Feeling Neighborly” as well as a never before released vampire/werewolf short story called “Under the Full Moon.” Contest open to adult readers 18+ only.

I wrote and re-wrote this post several times. I wrote sad posts and angry posts, posts about religion and politics and personal opinions. I erased it all, because I truly believe that at the bottom line is that anger and fear are destructive and I didn’t want to write a destructive post.

I am many things. Mostly these days I’m an author and a mom. I don’t sleep very much, and I frequent the local Starbucks like they’re gonna put my name on a table. I get stressed. Through all of that my life revolves around love. Falling in love is what I write about. As an at-home parent, teaching, guiding, and loving my kids is what I DO. My job as a parent is to make it so that they can go out into the world someday and be good, kind, functional citizens who don’t need me any more.  My fondest wish is for them to grow up healthy and happy–and that they someday fall in love.

Period. If my boys are lucky enough to find someone who loves and respects them half as much as I, their extremely biased mother, thinks they deserve? I’ll be thrilled, regardless of who that person is, so long as they’re good to my kid.

When they look at me over their chocolate chip waffles in the morning and thank me for taking care of them, I can’t imagine wanting anything else.

I used to do a daily yoga and meditation practice. It’s a little more sporadic these days due to business, but I find when I make it back to the mat that the foundations are still with me. One of the things I learned, was a loving-kindness meditation: The gist is, you start out by offering loving-kindness to yourself, and then to someone you respect, someone you love, someone you feel neutral about…then someone you hate (for more info on this, you can go here). The idea, I think, is to help you keep an open heart. In the face of a thing like homophobia, I admit that can be difficult to do.

So that’s what I want to offer here today, on this International Day Against Homophobia. Loving kindness. To myself, to those of you who are friends, and those I don’t know. To those of you whose minds I hope with all my heart will soon be changed for the better. More than anything, to all the innocent babies, children, and young people out there who will someday need help and support in navigating your way through the confusion and questions you may have about your sexual orientation–I pray you will have the support that you need, and that you will always know you’re perfect just the way you are. That you deserve love and respect.

Love is love. It’s something everyone deserves.

(There are over 250 authors and bloggers participating today in the hop against homophobia, lots of really good thoughts on the subject and lots of prizes being given away. You can find the full list, here. Also, for a chance to win my latest vampire novella, Immortal Valentine, or another chance to win the free vampire/shifter short story, check out the HAH post over at Books Make Me Happy.)

Today’s Quickie: Feeling Neighborly Coming Soon


Crazy-pants! I’ve been so slammed with work and parenting and–oh HEY, the holidays are almost here–that I nearly forgot I’ve got a cute little bite-sized story coming out with Dreamspinner Press just after new years. Check it out:

Blurb:
Teagan Matthews is thrilled to discover his new townhouse comes complete with a sexy new neighbor, but plans go south when Teagan realizes that Matt has a child. While that’s normally a dealbreaker for Teagan, his conviction wavers when he and Matt have a run-in that turns hot and steamy. After a sweaty one-night stand, Teagan and Matt agree to be just friends…with benefits. Over time, hanging out turns into occasional dinners that kind of seem like dates, and soon friends-with-benefits is starting to feel an awful lot like… a relationship.

Excerpt:

Okay, Teagan loved to kiss. Loved the teeth-clicking,
stubble-scraping abandon of it almost as much as sex itself.
Loved, most of all, that moment right before a first kiss when
time stood still. When two gazes met and you knew—just
knew—that the next tick of the clock would bring two pairs
of lips together. Still, he sucked in a sharp breath when
Matt’s hot, cinnamon-flavored tongue licked along Teagan’s
slack lower lip before it slid inside his mouth.


And then, like an action movie car crash that had been
put on pause, it was nothing but fire and chaos when things
started to go again. While their tongues dueled, strong hands
landed a bruising grip on Teagan’s ass to push their hard-ons
together. Urgent gasps and grunts filled the still night air.

Available January 4th from Dreamspinner Press

Drowning


and i’m so sad
like a good book
i can’t put this day back
— Tori Amos

There’s debate about whether an author should create a character in their own likeness. Certainly, there are reasons why it can be a no-no–or why it should at least be handled carefully. And even though I am aware of those reasons, I walked right into that trap recently. Generally speaking I can shake off critique okay, but recently I put a great deal of myself into a character and then took it way too hard when a person whose opinion I treasure told me how annoying he was.

WAY too hard.

I know I shouldn’t have, but…tricky word, that “should.” And it’s one of the pitfalls of using too many of your own attributes in your writing. We writers aren’t necessarily all that interesting. 😉

The realization hit me midway through plotting my next book, a contemporary novel entitled Drowning. One of the heroes suffers from depression–something I’ve been struggling with lately–and it certainly gave me pause. And I don’t know if this will make me change course yet or not. Amor Prohibido featured a hero with a history of abuse which I also have some experience with, and I’ve gotten great feedback about that book. That said, my abusive relationships are a decade-plus in the past, so maybe perspective is the key.

Probably.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a ton of questions about what I’m working on next–thank you SO much for asking everyone. 🙂 So the short answer is, I’m not entirely sure. I’m on the fence about Drowning–whether I should shelve it until I feel more “ready” or plow ahead and see what comes of it. I *know* I want my next thing to be a contemporary novel. I’ve gotten a lot of AWESOME feedback about the free short story Yes, Sir that I wrote for GayRomLit 2011. I may try taking Nate and Gray out of the dream world and into the real world to see how their relationship progresses. Or maybe it’ll be something else entirely…we’ll see what the new year brings, I suppose. 🙂

NEXT THOUGH! I just turned in my Valentine novella, Immortal Valentine, to Amber Allure!! It’s a sexy little boy-meets-vampire story about a one-night stand that turns into forever, and I’ll be editing that through the holidays. Keep an eye out for that just before Valentine’s day.