Giveaway!

Hiya, I’m having a giveaway of the new title, plus one back title of your choice over here:

http://becausetwomenarebetterthanone.com/2015/05/30/giveaway-and-excerpt-eye-of-the-storm-by-arielle-pierce/

I should have promoted it earlier but my kid’s come down with chicken pox, so everything is far behind now. Except the pox, they’re almost over. 🙂

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new release!

Egads, I really need to do more with this site than just say ‘hey I’ve got a new release!’ >.<

But guess what? Yep, I’ve got a new release.

Well, actually, it’s a bit of an old/new release. It’s a tale of two dolphin shifters in Key West and was originally a short story published through Storm Moon Press. Even at the time of its release I knew there was a lot more I wanted to say, both about the two main characters, Nathan and Jacob, and about the world they inhabited, one of various shifters living in secret alongside a contemporary Key West. So shortly after the short story was released I set about expanding the story. It went from a 12,000 short to a 54,000 novel, my very first novel!

I’m quite excited by it and by the entire world it’s set in (in fact I’m already working on the next novel/novella). So here it is, ‘Eye of the Storm.’

http://www.amazon.com/Eye-Storm-Key-West-Shifters-ebook/dp/B00XUDXYGQ%3FSubscriptionId%3D1QZMGW0RRJC2PX87HDR2%26tag%3Dsalranexp-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB00XUDXYGQ

Once that last sentence was out, Nathan found he wanted to stop.

But he couldn’t. He was tired of all the secrets, all the lies.

Jacob waved him to silence as the waitress came and gave them the check. Before he could say anything, Nathan had laid a few bills on the table. Jacob nodded to Nathan and guided them out of the restaurant. They were silent as they walked up the quaint brick sidewalk, past the squat little houses painted in cheery pastel shades. Jacob’s house was in the tiny lane where no tourist ever knew to go, the one that had no cute sidewalks, where the white picket fences more times than not gave way to breeze block walls. But even here there was an air that said this was not mainstream America, this place as much Cuba, as much the Caribbean, as it was Papa Hemingway and Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost.

Jacob’s house was as unexpectedly cute as the man himself was tall and handsome. The tiny cream building with its sky blue trim peeked out from a jungle of hothouse trees. Red hibiscus vied for attention along with the fuchsia bougainvillea, while a stately fiddle fig stood sentry over it all. There was a warmth about it that Paul’s place didn’t have.

Maybe because this was where Nathan’s mate lived, not in that old shipmaster’s house on Caroline.

Though he hadn’t said it to anyone—he dared not even really admit it to himself—Nathan felt the pull as surely as Jacob must. He had known it even when Tyler had said those words that had rolled through his head ever since, there’s a new guy in town, just your type.

He wandered through the minute garden and into the cool shade of the house, which was positioned so that the sea breezes blew through the wide windows, sheltering them from the stifling heat that said the hurricane had formed far out in the Gulf and was beginning its journey to their shores. Jacob was silent as he went into the kitchen and returned with two beers in hand. He gave one to Nathan with a, “I think we’re going to need this,” and sat down close to Nathan.

Right, so now it was time. Time to tell someone who was not Aisha or Toby. But the words had escaped him, they deserted him when he was most in need of them. There was a lump in his throat that refused to let them slip past. He found he needed all of the beer to loosen it up. In a silent acknowledgment Jacob handed him his own, barely drunk, bottle. Nathan would need that as well.

It was…” His voice was shaking. He stopped to clear his throat, hoping that would help, and carried on. “It was just after the pod went away. My best friend Ruben—he was a rough toothed dolphin—had just given up all hope. He had gone to the mainland and even there gave up on his shifter side. I wanted to follow him, but his despair was so terrible. Then I met Paul.” He looked down at his hands lightly holding the green beer bottle. “He seemed really nice, at first. We fell in love—or maybe just into bed—and it was as though it was all going to be okay. But then one day he hit me.” Nathan took a quick drink. “He hit me and I didn’t know what to do. I was living in his house, I had quit working on his advice, I had turned my back completely on all the shifters here. To them, I was nothing more than some strange shadow wandering through their lives from time to time. I no longer shifted, in fact, I hadn’t shifted for over a year. I was helpless, like a silly little child. Paul had me right where he wanted me.

The only thing I had was art, so I started collecting things thrown away, things like me, I suppose. Then I found my dog, Maggie. She had been thrown away as well. Paul wouldn’t let me keep her at first, so I smuggled her into the back garage that hadn’t been used in years. Then he heard her barking one day. I was beaten for that, the first time he ever actually beat me up. It was so bad he let me keep her afterwards.” Nathan shrugged his shoulders. God, he sounded so pathetic. That’s because you are pathetic. Swallowing hard against that mean little voice, he continued on.

I knew then that I was in trouble. I couldn’t even leave the house after that, not for a long while. Paul’s respectable in town, he couldn’t let anyone know what he’s really like. But I had had one friend I thought I might be able to turn to, and that was Jose. He’s a seagull, so it wasn’t all that hard to still find him.”

Ah shit, I think I was being stalked by a seagull a few days ago,” Jacob muttered.

Well, that could have been anyone, there’s a big bird shifter population all up and down the Keys. But maybe it was, who knows?” Nathan downed the rest of his beer and went on. “After a few weeks, I managed to find Jose. I let him know that I needed to see him. He watched the house, he came in once Paul had left for work, and I told him everything that was going on. He went and got Aisha and she suggested I try to touch my Inner Self that was animal and not human. So I did…as you do.” He shrugged his shoulders. “And I remembered how wonderful it was. God, it was like coming up for air after years and years of drowning. And then the fucking bottlenosed pod showed up. I was all alone, there was no protection for me. I’m only a spotted dolphin, they’re all so much bigger than me. So I let…it…happen. And I let it happen…again and again. And I found I liked it. By that time it was usually only Tyler and Sam, the others had gotten bored of me.

I didn’t go out much, and I didn’t run into them every single time. But when I did…” Again, he shrugged his shoulders and stole a glance at Jacob. The man’s face was pensive. There was no trace of condemnation in his eyes. Maybe it was okay? Would he still like Nathan, after this?

Jacob cleared his throat. “Now, during all this, what did Paul do?”

To me?” Nathan pulled a face. “He didn’t care, not really. Either he doesn’t know or…yeah, I don’t know. But if he knows, he never beats me for it, and he doesn’t know…” Nathan shrugged his shoulders. “He doesn’t know anything about my being a shifter. With Paul, it’s all about appearance. He just wants the cutest guy on his arm to show off to his friends. Even the art stuff. I do it for my own sanity, Paul allows it because then he can show me off to his fancy friends who come down from Miami for a long weekend. It’s all just a game to him.”

Do you love him?”

No.” God, it felt so good to say that word. “I never did. He was a safety net once, but he’s become my prison. Typical dolphin, eh?”

Jacob sighed and sat forward. “I think I need that beer. Want another one?”

As much as he wanted to say yes, Nathan shook his head. Getting drunk wasn’t the answer to this mess. He had to take it on the chin, like a man. He watched, silent, as Jacob went with purpose into the kitchen and came back out again, beer in hand. Instead of coming to sit by Nathan, he leaned against the doorframe, his face impassive, his eyes almost lost in thought.

Finally, he said, “So what are you going to do, then?”

With Paul?” Jacob nodded and took a heavy swig. Nathan sighed. “I can’t go on, I can’t live like this anymore. And…”

And?”

And then there’s you.”

Jacob nodded “Well that, there’s me, as well.” He grinned. “Is that okay?”

Nathan breathed a sigh of relief. “I want you, I want to be with you…if you want me, that is.”

Twinks, Bears and Erotica Titles of 2012

Okay, it’s like this, the set of series that does the best for me…I hate all the titles of them. Hate them. Every time it comes ’round to thinking a new one up I swear I break out in hives, which should be stating soon as the last one is in the process of being edited and ready to go. So it occurred to me the other month that I didn’t need to put myself through this anymore, there was a way out. But would it piss people off? Would fans of the series get angry and think I was pulling a fast one? Highly likely…which is why I sat and let them sit.

But I just can’t take it anymore. And as I’ve been writing longer and more series stuff, the last thing I want hanging around my neck is those horrid erotica titles.

So I’m changing them, I just can’t take it anymore.

Before I do, I feel I need to explain myself a bit. Back in the summer of 2012 I knew nothing about m/m romance. I had no clue it was acceptable for women to write gay romance (hey, I live in a kind of backwards, tiny country!). It was a lunch with my best mate, in the park by the museum in Cardiff, that set the ball rolling. I was telling her about a character I wanted to write (Rafael Perez of the horse shifter stories) and it was she that said ‘why don’t you write gay erotica?’ A bell went off in my head and I looked it up..or thought I had. In my ignorance what I looked up wasn’t m/m romance but gay erotica. And in the summer of 2012 what did the best in gay erotica was (to say the least) rather cheeky titles. And as I wanted to sell more than a couple stories, I duly went in with the rude titles. And so ‘Bent Over by the Bear: Tale of a Twink’s Deflowering’ (yep, that was the title, see why I want to change it??) was born.

And it did well.

And it was based on a character I’ve had for years and have all of his life into his 50’s plotted out.

So I wrote another one, with another cheeky title: Pounded by the Bear: Tale of a Twink’s Submission. Ouch, it’s painful to even say I thought this title up. Right after its release, the main competition was ‘F**ked by the Blue Dragon.’ And ‘Pounding the Pizzaboy.’ And my all time favorite (I honestly love this title), ‘Four Tales of Guys Who Like to Get F**ked Up the Ass.’ So as you can see, officer, I was only keeping up with the Jones’.

But a thing happened. Amazon got wiff of all this and began banning stories left, right and centre. But through it all, mine were left alone. Left alone with their cheeky, silly titles when all the others were changed to more dignified titles.

But it’s almost 2015 and I can’t take it anymore. As of today, all my titles are going to begin to be changed. Not huge changes, but basically shortened. So the first one will be changed to just ‘Bent Over’ the second to ‘Pounded,’ the third to ‘Dominated,’ etc. What I won’t do is change the actual pictures used for the covers. So if anyone sees a cover that looks like one they’ve bought…it still IS the same story. DO NOT RE-BUY IT!!!

Call this a case of just wanting my dignity.

I hope (and pray) no one takes any offense to this decision. Love you all!

Interview with the lovely Jaye McKenna

From time to time I thought this would be a good space to bring in other authors that I admire and respect, one of which is Jaye McKenna. She’s got a wild new novel out, called Psi Hunter, and is here on this bright morning to tell us all about her work! So without further ado, here is my good mate and future star m/m writer Jaye McKenna. 🙂

Arielle: So Jaye, let’s start with the most obvious question: tell me a bit about yourself.

Jaye: Ugh… my favorite job interview question! I was born in the UK and dragged over to the US when I was about four. I always had a vivid imagination, and lots of imaginary friends. I was the quiet, shy kid hanging around by the fence during recess, but it didn’t bother me too much, since I had so much interesting stuff going on in my head. Stories and characters and that sort of thing.

Arielle: You sound like me as a kid! Great minds and all that, eh?

Jaye: Must be! I was a pretty lonely kid. Back then, there was no such thing as diversity and nobody cared much about whether kids were being bullied or not. Having a British accent made me “different” enough to be a prime target. So I ended up spending a lot of time by myself in my own head, and I’m sure that had a lot to do with me becoming a writer.

Arielle: How long have you been doing it?

Jaye: All my life, I guess. It started with the imaginary friends and the stories I would make up in my head. By the time I was nine, I was writing those stories down, and turning in some of my school assignments in verse (the teachers seemed to get a kick out of that, for some reason!). In high school, I alleviated the boredom of public education by writing novels during class… in college and grad school, I wrote when I had time. And then when the kids arrived, there wasn’t any time… but now that they’re both older (one in high school, one in college) and busy with their own things, I’ve got the time to devote to writing.

Arielle: I hear you on the no time with kids underfoot thing (i.e. my life at the moment). A couple of months ago you gave me the great honour of being one of the beta readers for Psi Hunter. Just how did the idea for this novel come about?

Jaye: Psi Hunter has been kicking around in my head for about twenty years…I wrote the original version during graduate school as a nice diversion from research and too many math and physics classes. It was about the fifth novel-length thing I’d attempted, and I was still learning at that point, so it wasn’t very good. The characters and the world I’d created for them stuck with me, though, and I knew I’d eventually come back to them when I had the time and the inclination.

Arielle: And was this m/m at the time?

Jaye: Ah, good question. The original Psi Hunter wasn’t m/m. I’d initially wanted to put Kyn and Pat together (and had written some rather steamy scenes for them, too!), but this was back in the nineties, and as an avid sci fi reader, I knew what was being published, and I didn’t think it would be marketable.

Arielle: So what made you decide you wanted to write in this genre?

Jaye: In 2011, when I got back into writing after a long absence, I started with a fantasy story. Again, I didn’t think an m/m pairing would be marketable, so I didn’t start out writing it that way, but the characters were extremely stubborn and refused to have any involvement with the girls I kept throwing at them. About that time, I discovered the m/m romance genre, and realized that there was a market for it after all. I stopped fighting the characters and let them have their way… and the result was an epic fantasy opus called Kingmakers, that I’ll be going back to and polishing up for public consumption once Guardians of the Pattern is finished.

Arielle: Guardians of the Pattern being the name of the series, of which Psi Hunter is the first. I know you already have another novella set in the same world out, which is about the character Miko. Can you tell us more about this world and the people in it?

Jaye: The stories in the Guardians of the Pattern series take place about 600 years in the future. In the universe I’ve created for this series, in spite of all our technical achievements, the fears and prejudices we harbor against those we perceive as different from the norm still drive many socio-political agendas. Even in the supposedly enlightened society of the member worlds of the Federation, humanity’s habit of subjugating a misunderstood minority is still very much in evidence. In the future I’ve envisioned, psions—individuals with psychic talents that include mind-reading, empathy, and healing—are still fighting for basic human rights. On some worlds, they are even hunted down and murdered, while the Federation turns a blind eye.

Arielle: And who are the main players that we need to keep an eye on?

Jaye: All of the characters have important roles to play, but Miko and Luka are both pivotal to the storyline, and appear in all of the books in the series. Miko’s story will be told in Book 3, Ghost in the Mythe, and Luka’s story will be told in Book 4, which is tentatively titled Wildfire Psi. All of the major players in Psi Hunter will make frequent appearances in future books.

Arielle: And how many books are planned?

Jaye: Right now, I have five books drafted for the Guardians of the Pattern series, and two more outlined. While the events in Book 5 will wrap up the overarching plotline nicely, they will also kick off a new challenge for our heroes to face. That will probably require three or four books to get sorted out, and I have a very specific endpoint I’m working toward. I’m guessing it’ll take me a total of eight or nine books to get there, but since the last three or four are mostly in my head right now, don’t hold me to that! (I seriously need about twelve more sleep-free hours a day, really…)

Arielle: If you find those hours, lemme know!

Jaye: Heh. If I find those hours, I’m not sharing!

Arielle: You’re so mean!

Jaye: Mean is my middle name—just ask my kids! 😉

And that was the very lovely, very talented Jaye McKenna! Here are the all important links to her new novel, Psi Hunter:

jaye's pic

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IQHB54Y

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-psihunterguardiansofthepatternbook1-1439700-145.html

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/414055

And the prequel, Facing the Mirror, is free (yes…free!) over at Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/379903

Enjoy!

New Novella

Who doesn’t like a new story? Particularly one with a snarky Welsh lad and a slightly confused Irish fey? Here’s The Faery Reel ready to be (hopefully) enjoyed. 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/Faery-Reel-Arielle-Pierce-ebook/dp/B00IA5A6ME/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392114718&sr=1-5&keywords=arielle+pierce

The blurb:

Faeries don’t exist, right?

That’s what Osian tells himself. So what if the stranger in the pub, the one that glows in the darkened room, has a beauty that is otherworldly. And that the man is watching him with eyes that promise trouble. So what if the music that drifts across the moor sounds like nothing he’s ever heard. So what if it’s the night of the summer solstice, the night when the veil between the human world and the faery world is whisper thin.

Osian is not a believer. Not until he is kidnapped by Conall and taken to the world of the fey. In the Otherworld, Osian is offered something he’s never had: the love of another man. But this love comes at the cruelest price. For in order to stay with Conall, Osian must give up his home, his friends, and his family.

But there is a way out—if he chooses. It involves letting himself go, allowing himself to trust Conall, and finding the true meaning of his name.

Can Osian trust Conall enough to risk it all? It’s a dangerous game he plays, but the prize—love—may be worth the risk of losing it all.

And an except!

“So…you didn’t do too badly, Osian.”

I glanced at Jo. Or, rather, let me correct that, I glared at her. For her part, she just laughed and shook her head. We were on our way back to the B&B where we had holed up, just beyond the outskirts of the village. It had taken all my persuasion skills, but I had finally convinced Jo that sleep was what we both needed. I don’t know about her, but my fingers were so sore even under the thickened calluses from countless years of playing that my left hand just wanted to fall off from the pain. And my right elbow wasn’t feeling much better. All I wanted was a warm bed and some pleasant chattering from me mate here. This Irish jig crap was just not my thing and I was never going to get it, but would Jo just let it go? Defeat, after all, is a concept Americans just don’t get.

“Y’know, if you just stop being inhibited it’ll come.”

Inwardly I moaned, and hitched up my violin case as it slipped down my shoulder a bit. Rolling my eyes at her, I said, “I don’t wanna, I’m a violinist.”

“So? And what were all those players back at the session?” Even in the dark of the street I could see her grinning.

“Fiddlers. Big difference.” I walked up the street a bit faster.

“Osian! You are such a snob!” Despite her words, Jo’s voice had a teasing note about it.

“I am not a snob, I am a classically trained violinist, end of. Those were nice people in the pub, and for what they play, they’re very good at it, But the fact remains that they are fiddle players, not violinists. Put a Vivaldi or a Bach before them and they wouldn’t have a clue how to play it properly.”

“Bitch.”

“If the truth hurts…”

Jo just shook her head. “Come on, let’s get back to the B&B. You said you were tired?”

I nodded. “And hungry. Wonder if all that chocolate we bought is still around?”

“Should be, I didn’t eat it.” She caught up to me as we walked.

The B&B was just outside the village. Every pub we passed was positively spilling over with fiddle players and other such riff-raff, all visitors to the festival that was held every year in the sleepy Donegal village. I had to all but drag her as we went past a few, suffering through protests of “but that’s my favourite song!” or “wait, I know the lead player!” or “but I’m thirsty!” Thankfully I was taller than Jo. Not by a lot (okay, by maybe a couple of inches or so…and she was all of 5’3”) but enough to matter, as in enough to haul her arse away from all the music candy and get to bed. Once we got away from the main street Jo calmed down and walked like a good girl, her long ponytail bouncing behind her.

The light of the last house on the lane that led into the moors was behind usas we set off for the B&B. I didn’t mind the wind that had picked up, or the occasional stumble with only moonlight to guide my feet. In my mind’s eye was an image of a nice warm bed that didn’t smell of Guinness and wasn’t going to be full of mad fiddle players and (God help me) off-the-beat bodhran players.

What’s the joke about how do you play a bodhran? With a penknife? I’d like to amend that to forget the fucking drum, beat the idiot playing it until he can’t move a fucking pinkie. God, what a horrid instrument. I could even still hear the bastard thing. Gritting my teeth, I walked on.

“Osian…Osian!”

I stopped, noticing for the first time that Jo wasn’t still walking alongside me. Looking over my shoulder, I saw her stock still, her head cocked. “What? You okay?” She didn’t look okay. Her face was as pale as a ghost’s.

“C-can you hear that?”

Frowning slightly, I stopped my fidgeting and listened. The drums. They weren’t in my overtaxed head, they were for real. “So some bodhran player has realised he is the most hated man in a session and has come out here in the bloody moors to lament that fact? Is that what you’re talking about?” Despite my confident words, I stepped back a few paces until I was by her side. I couldn’t help but note that the playing came, not from the village where you’d expect it, but from somewhere in the moors. If it was some idiot guy about I wasn’t about to leave Jo on her own. And God knew bodhran players were, by and large, idiots.

Silencing the monologue in my head, I listened to the drumming for a moment. And then for a moment longer when I realised it wasn’t a bodhran. For a moment the wind stilled and the sound floated across the moors in a way that made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Not really sure why, but there was something about it that creeped me out. Obviously Jo as well, by the way her nails were digging into my arm.

“That burial mound thingy is close by.” Jo’s voice shook as she spoke.

“Oh, come on, what are you expecting? Rabid drumming zombies?”

“Well, what about y’know…what they say comes out of those things?” The colour of her voice took on a more indignant tone than afraid.

“What, faery mounds? Jo, stop being so American!” She looked like she was going to punch me. I gave her hand a quick squeeze, trying to reassure her. “That thing is just a burial mound, nothing more. And besides there’s one close to where my parents live and you don’t get creeped out by that one.”

“Yeah, but I’ve never been to your folks’ place on the Solstice.”

“What solstice?”

“The summer solstice. The one that’s tonight. Y’know, the longest day of the year and all that.”

“Jo, don’t start talking about faeries and all that shit. Because that’s all it is, shit. This is the 21st Century!” I firmly steered her towards the B&B. “Come on, we’ve got chocolate to eat and warm beds to cwtch up in.”

The drummer sounded far away, anyway. So what if he wasn’t playing a stereotypical Irish drum. He was probably tucked in some lonely little cottage deep in the moors and too shy to come out to the festival. And if he was too shy for that, he certainly was too shy to pick up some ax or butcher knife and chase us all over the place, right? More likely he’d just beat us with his bloody drum if he caught us, anyway. Even so, I set off once again at a quick pace. It’d only take about five minutes to get to the B&B, if we just walked fast. I gripped her hand tightly, and shifted to grasp her elbow when she couldn’t keep the pace up.

“Come on Jo, let me have your violin case. We can go faster that way.” I don’t know why but I just felt the urge to move, like we were being watched or something. The logical part of my brain put it down to too many horror films. My feet and hands—and my heart—choose to ignore that.

Not one to protest—particularly if there was a mad drummer out there—Jo dropped the case off her shoulder and, in the same motion, I took it and slung it over my free shoulder. God, but her case was heavy, no wonder she couldn’t keep up.As much as I would have loved to grumble about the weight, I wisely chose to keep my mouth shut, just moaning a bit as I settled it into a comfortable crook of my shoulder bone. Once again we set off, at a brisker pace this time. The steady beat of the drummer helped us keep a pace, in its 4/4 rhythm. For a musical stalker he was a helpful chap, he was.

“Osian…” Jo tugged on my arm.

What? We really need to keep walking y’know.” Not really stopping, I managed to drag her a few feet before she tugged harder on my arm.

“No, stop for a minute, Osian. Do you hear that?”

I stared at her for a moment. How could she be so stupid? The B&B was just up the road, I could make out the lights coming from it. If the silly girl would only shut up and walk, we could get there, have a laugh about all this, agree that we watch far too many horror films and enjoy that chocolate. But then…then…

Under the steady drumbeat (that hadn’t gotten any fainter, by the way) there was an eerie sound, almost like—and yeah I know this is going to sound stupid—but almost like the wind was playing the uilleann pipes. It was an unreal sound, so faint but so prominent. And the tune—if it could be called that—had no trace of any 4/4 or 6/8 or any other ‘Irish’ beat anymore. I turned wide eyes back to Jo.

She looked like I felt. Breathless, her face a white mask in the dark, her hand on my arm trembled as though she were freezing. I could see her chest rising and falling in a building hyperventilation attack under the dark green of her jumper. It was obvious even in the dark. Something had to be done, and done fast.

I couldn’t ditch the violins. Even as fearful as I was that we were about to be set upon by rabid zombie faeries, I wasn’t about to just dump them and run. Grasping Jo’s hand tightly in mine, I whispered, “On the count of three I want you to run, and run as fast as you can. The B&B is just up ahead, run to those lights there.” I nodded over her shoulder.

“Right…right, okay.” She gritted her teeth.

“There’s my brave girl.” I squeezed her hand. “Now…one…two…three!”

Usain Bolt couldn’t have done any better, if you ask me. Like the wind, she tore down the road, me at her heels. The steady thud of our shoes hitting the pavement drowned out the music. We ran like the scariest thing Stephen King could dream up was on our heels. The lights of the B&B were just ahead, getting brighter with each stride. We were going to make it, it was going to be okay.

And, like that, Jo slammed to a stop. Being weighted down, I couldn’t stop so easily and I ploughed into her. We fell in a tangle of limbs and violin cases, hitting the overgrown hedge alongside the country road.

“What the fuck? Why’d you do that?” Sitting up, I rubbed the top of my head—the part that had hit the hedge first—and glared at her for the umpteenth time tonight.

Not stopping to explain herself, Jo grabbed me by the shoulders and all but threw us both belly down into the hedge. Before I could question what the fuck she was doing, she clamped a hand over my mouth.

“Shh! Look!” She pointed her finger to the lights of the B&B.

The moving lights.

It wasn’t the B&B.

Blinking to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing, I squinted and looked at it, at them, all of them. What I had taken for the windows of the B&B were flickering torches held in the hands of a row—a very long row—of people, if that’s what you could call them. If people were inhumanly tall and shone from within almost brighter than the torches they held, then they were human. Being that no human could do that or look like that, I could only say they were—

“The Sídhe ...d’you know what were seeing?” Jo’s voice was a harsh whisper in my ear.

“I was going to say y Twlyth Teg, but y’know, if you want to go with the Sídhe then who am I to complain—”

“Shut up! Do you want them to hear you?” Once again, she clamped her hand over my mouth.

“Too late.”

We both startled and stared at one another for a painful moment.

“Did you say that?” I whispered.

“No…?”

We looked up.

The plan for 2014: happiness

Hmm…haven’t posted anything here since October? Egads, I am rubbish at this social networking stuff, sorry. So…an explanation as to my laying low. Health issues, would that do? Yep, the joys of getting old. *snort*

So long story short, real life has been biting my arse for awhile now. Nothing big, I think it’s more the delayed reactions to some uncomfortable events that happened last summer, in the shape of one very evil neighbor. I can’t really say much since the police are involved but basically, we live next to a very unpleasant individual who fancies himself Lord of the Manor. After several arguments when he decided our land is his, the police have gotten involved. And throughout all that (this went on the entire summer last year) my will to write went out the window because of the stress. And also, because of the added anxiety that Amazon put all us erotica writers under, I can’t say that 2013 was an enjoyable year.

But that was last year. 2014 is a new year and to hell with negativity, I’m going to enjoy this year. I’m taking back my garden from the weeds and the neighbor, and I’m going to enjoy my writing this year. And the first thing I’m doing is not stressing about sales. If they come, great, if not, then just keep writing. Secondly, I’m taking back some of my earliest stories and adding to them what I wanted in the first place. Thirdly, I’m going to do four stories I’ve been wanting to do for years now.

Four sports stories.

Yes, I said four sports stories, one of which I started last Saturday.

Basically, I enjoy watching sports, four in particular: horse racing, tennis, cycling and rugby. And when I do pretty much anything in life, I think up a story to go along with it (you should have seen all my notes in uni…stories all over the margins and headers. It was out of control). Years ago I thought up a tale of two cyclists in the Tour de France, as I sat through the three weeks it’s on (my husband is a HUGE cycling fan..we’re not allowed to watch anything whilst the Tour is on), long before I ever knew there was a field of m/m romance and that it was okay for women to write in this field. Ditto for a story to go along with the rugby for the eight weeks the Six Nations is on. Last year one of my high points was putting a lot of thought into a tale of two tennis players going for the same prize: Wimbledon. And with horse racing, what can I say? I worked for years on the backstretch as a groom. Out of that experience I started a novel about a transgirl.

So out of all of this, here is what I’m going to do. I’m going to sit down and watch the Tour, Wimbledon, Saratoga and the Six Nations, and I’m going to write my stories out during the events, just to try to catch the feeling in the writing during them, and not after or before. So…I’m writing four stories, though they may not be out this year. But I’m writing them, and I’m going to enjoy writing them. Already I’ve started the rugby one, bashing out 2,500 words the first day, and loving every bit of it (if you like fun jock/geek stories, then hopefully this’ll hit your buttons). The Six Nations’ll be done by mid March, and all things going well, then hopefully the rough draft of this will be done as well. Going to Spain is next, and a non sports story will hopefully be finished up by then as well that takes place in Spain, during the Easter Processions (an angel story, by the way), then I need to get a shift on with the last twink/bear story and lay that chapter of Alex’s life to rest.

Fingers crossed that’ll see me to mid June, when Wimbledon starts and I’ll be rolling in all things tennis. Fingers and toes crossed the very roughest of drafts will be finished by then, and then it’s straight into the Tour and the tale of two men who walk that line of hatred and love for one another. Then it should be the Saratoga season and back to my little transgirl and her struggles as a groom to a fragile filly (who happens to be trained by a very lovely man). And in between it all, there’s a WWI era tale that I’ve started, along with one that takes place in the 1920’s. And I may try to stuff a Cedar Point tale in there somewhere as well.

So this is my blueprint for 2014: sports, history and fun (and twinks, always lots of twinks!). I may only make pennies but I’m going to enjoy my writing this year. 🙂

Working titles for all the stories mentioned (for the folks who like that sort of knowledge):

Fish Face (the rugby story…the title will be obvious once the stories finished, as there are a lot of big koi and one little pufferfish involved in bringing our two boys together)

Run Like a Girl (the horse racing one)

Match Point (a bit obvious, but hey ho :P)

Domestique (the Tour de France one)

and for the other stories mentioned:

Heavenly Creatures (angel one, which is clocking in at 20k so far and is maybe only half done)

Coming Out Boy Blues (1920’s one)

Sebastian (just this side of pre WWI story)

and one not mentioned, but will be coming out this thursday:

The Faery Reel

(Oh, and the Six Nations, for all you Americans, is the rugby version of the run up to the Super Bowl..or something like that. It involves France, Wales, Scotland, Italy, Ireland and England, the main six rugby playing nations in the Northern Hemisphere)