Thursday, April 25, 2013

Guest Post: Coey Cain

One of my new best friends on Facebook - go ahead, ask her about the cannon on her property... I dare ya! - I'd like to introduce Coey Cain. Completely raw and real, Coey is an astonishingly wonderful woman and a really great writer. I hope you check her out - I know I did, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE her!

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career? 

Without a doubt, it's staying focused. I love being a writer, I always have. It gives me something to do with these images playing in my head. However, not all the images are from the same "movie," so to speak. I'll see a 'scene' that I can't get out of my head, but it's not for the show I'm writing. To make a long story short, I always feel like I've got a dozen movies playing at the same time.

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I think it all boils down to having a God complex from an early age. I always wanted things to go my way and play out how I wanted it to, no matter how impossible or unlikely.

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

Well, currently, I only have one published book out there. I decided I was going to be a published author late in the game. I do have a favorite, and I'm sorry to say it's long gone. Lost forever. I consider it the unicorn of everything I've ever written. Unfortunately, I can't recreate it. I'm in a different place in life now, and I'm not the person I was. It reminds me of a Tenacious D jingle called 'Tribute'. It was the greatest book in the world... and I can't remember how it goes. lol.

What are your biggest pet peeves for other people's grammar? Are there any mistakes that you find yourself making regularly?

I'm irritated by Grammar Nazis. My grammar is decent enough, but I roll my eyes when I see folks correcting others, ad nauseum. I don't appreciate it when published authors don't know the spelling of 'simple' words. I see the same misspelling of the same word from them, time after time, and it's clear they don't have spell check or the inkling to try harder. I have all kinds of problems, that I'm well aware of, and it makes me crazy. Neighbor always comes out as 'neightbor' or 'neightborhood'. I have these redundant mistakes programmed in my autocorrect. My fingers really want that T in there. I'm guilty of accidentally switching your and you're. I always notice it, but it's too late to fix at times. Oh, and 'affect' and 'effect' make me insane. I never know which one is correct. Same as 'who' and 'whom'. Now everyone knows. lol.

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?

I'll edit myself until there's no story left, if given enough time.

How do you decide on character names?

I'm obsessed with names. Positively obsessed. I have thousands of them at my fingertips and I will spend weeks deciding on the main characters' final names. It has to be unique without being overused, (to my knowledge, anyway.) and it needs to fit the character and flow. At the same time, there are certain names I can't get away from, that happen to be overused. I try to reserve those names for secondary characters.

What's the worst thing that ever happened to you that you've incorporated into a story?

The worst thing that's ever happened to me is not in any of my stories. I have no interest in writing that down. (Yet.) I can tell you something about myself I incorporate that people might consider bad, and that's my gypsy nature. Most of the time, I'm writing about a woman in a new place, starting over in life or moving to another city or town. Fact of the matter is, that's all I know. I'm not running from anything, that's not what it's about. It's that I love being free. There's no greater feeling to me than that of having the freedom to pick up and go, whenever I damn well please. Now, don't get me wrong, I have a family out there who's going to read this and think, "What the hell do you mean, that's all you know?!" Because we never moved when I was being raised. To this very day, my mother lives in the house I was born and raised in, and I absolutely cherish the fact that, even at my age, I can still go home. I've tried to settle down somewhere, and it works for a while, but that urge to find a new place grows increasingly more powerful and I just have to GO.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

Without crucifying myself... a ton. But...

It's hard to say. I have a lot of experience in certain scenarios, which helps profusely in enriching the scene. However, when I start a novel with a new cast of charters, I have to get to know them as brand new people. My characters aren't going to respond the way I would, all of the time. They're unique and unlike me in many ways. There's a few select people in my life that always seem to show up, somehow or another, in all of my books. I pull from their personalities, reactions, their history, and their presence. I take traits from a plethora of people to create the character I need.

What projects are you currently working on? 

The cat's out of the bag, so I might as well. Aside from the work I write under a different name, I am working on The Elite II. A lot of people are waiting for that. I might disappear for a while to get that done. Right now, my main focus is on my current female assassin novel. Now watch as everyone jumps on that idea like stink on... never mind. lol. Luckily for me, I have my own special perspective on what a badass female is like, and you'll see for yourself when the time comes. There's a few real-life folks I'm ready to kill, been ready to kill, and she's the gal who's going to carry out the deed for me. Too bad it's fiction. Praise fiction.

What's your writing routine?

I have no routine, whatsoever. I'd give anything for some discipline, but as I've said a hundred times, I have a strong will and a weak won't. There's temptation and distractions around every corner and I never know where I'm going to get my next story. I could go on a writing hiatus tomorrow in order to add something to my bag of life experience.

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?

I wonder if Writer's Schizophrenia is a thing. I have characters, like Joelie Baudelaire, who seem like real people to me at times. Perhaps it's because I've been telling her story for so long now, but scenes from her life are playing in my head quite a bit.

Talk to us about your domestic life; a favorite recipe, craft, your pets, children, house, or favorite set of socks.

Okay, haha. I live in a far-off place, in the middle of nowhere, on fifteen acres of land. I'm surrounded by woods, which is great for privacy, and...  ~dun dun dun~ I have twelve dogs. ::hysterical laughter:: Nope, I'm not some crazy dog lady. It started with having two females, one wasn't fixed, and she got herself in a "family way" with a neighbor dog. (See how I didn't write neightbor?) Anyway, here's where the 'crazy' comes in... I don't believe anyone should take a mother's children away from her. Plain and simple. Those who do, without valid reason or proof that the child is in danger, can burn in hell for the rest of eternity... and likely will. :) ::bows and winks:: I do enjoy being home nowadays. That hasn't always the case with me. Nor has it ever been the case with me before. I have a coffee addiction, love the stuff, and I do things like, "Going to town." Until I moved here, I never understood the saying.

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

Depends on what you find interesting, frankly. Here we go...

1. I have been precision driving and racing cars since I learned how to drive, and that was before I had a license. I am an excellent driver, it's not just something I say because I want to believe it. To this day, I've never been driving the car in a real accident. (Now, everyone, please knock on wood for me.) If you knew the crazy things I've done behind the wheel of a car, you would know the real meaning behind that fact.

2. In 2004 I was hired on at a major national trucking company, as a truck driver.

3. I am trained in the skill of pole dancing. ;)

So, let's hear it for Coey... be sure to check her and her wonderful book out.

Paperback : Amazon | Barnes & Nobles

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday Writer's Call: Submission Guidelines for JMS Books

Submission Guidelines

JMS Books LLC is a small electronic press specializing in gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender fiction (including erotica, romance, and young adult), as well as general fiction, and non-fiction.

While our preference is for GLBT stories, we accept stories containing any and ALL sexualities, as well as fiction without a romantic subplot.

We do not pay advances. Authors earn 50% of net royalties on all electronic and print sales from our website and distributors. Royalties are paid quarterly no later than 60 days after the end of the quarter.

Publishing With Us:

Our contracts are for exclusive electronic and print rights. We DO NOT ACCEPT previously published or self-published work, or novel chapters as stand-alone stories. The one exception to this is if your story has only appeared in an anthology and was never available as a single e-book. If that's the case, you may submit the story to us.

ALL stories are published in e-book format. Any story over 30,000 words is eligible to be published in paperback if sales goals are met. Short stories and novellas under the 30k limit by the same author can also be compiled into a print anthology if sales goals are met. Print publication is not guaranteed, but print rights can revert back to the author after six months from the publication date of the e-book. All print books are published and distributed through CreateSpace.

Young adult submissions over 30,000 words in length will be published in paperback the same month as the e-book is published. No sales goals must be met first for this genre.

We are a non-subsidiary, non-vanity press. All books, electronic and print, are assigned an ISBN. A cover image is provided at no cost to the author. Before you submit a story, make sure it is well-written, free of errors, and checked for grammar. Submissions with extensive problems, including those of plot and character, will not be accepted. An editor is assigned to work with you before your story is published. Authors may not provide their own cover art.

What We Accept:

JMS Books LLC accepts queer, literary, and popular fiction, including erotica, romance, young adult, and stories without erotic, romantic, or queer content. Stories must be between 5,000 and 100,000 words in length. We do not accept stories outside of this range.

Beginning 2013, we no longer accept stories under 5,000 words in length.

Non-fiction submissions must be over 30,000 words in length. For non-fiction submissions, query first.

Stories don't need to contain graphic sex scenes or a romantic/sexual relationship between characters. If your story is erotic, there is no minimum sexual content requirement. Romance stories where sex is alluded to or described in literary terms are welcome. Stories without romantic or erotic content are also welcome.

We are looking for fresh, new voices in the following genres:

What We Don't Accept:

We publish what we like to read. Our tastes are broad, but we don't accept stories which portray GLBT characters or non-traditional sexualities negatively. We don't publish stories containing pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, incest, rape or nonconsensual sex, extreme fetishes, degradation, snuff, watersports, or scat.

We don't publish books with interior graphics, custom fonts, special formatting, or imbedded media. Stories cannot contain quoted song lyrics or quotes from movies or television shows. Any third-party quotes must be approved by JMS Books LLC and may be removed prior to publication if copyright infringement is suspected.

For young adult submissions, visit our YA imprint at Queerteen Press for detailed submission guidelines.

Submission Policy:

Electronic unsolicited submissions are accepted at any time. We don't accept multiple submissions (more than one story by the same author at the same time) or simultaneous submissions (the same story sent to several publishers at the same time). Such submissions will be immediately rejected.

Non-fiction submissions should include only a QUERY LETTER. This should be a detailed blurb of your book. Do not send an excerpt. If your book interests us, we will ask for one.

Submissions over 15,000 words in length should include three things: QUERY LETTER, SYNOPSIS, and EXCERPT. The Query Letter should be in the body of your e-mail. The Synopsis and Excerpt must be sent as attachments in RTF format.

The QUERY LETTER must contain the following information:
Your legal name and pen name, if applicable
The title of your story (include series information, if applicable)
Your writing credentials, if any
Word Count of total book or story (NOT page count)
The SYNOPSIS must provide an overall narrative summary of your story, including major characters, all plot points, climax, and conclusion. If your story is segregated into chapters or parts, provide a brief summary of each in the synopsis. DO NOT rehash the blurb and expect that to suffice. The ending of the story MUST be disclosed in the synopsis, along with any plot or character twists. If there is any content in your story that may be offensive (excessive violence or sex, BDSM, etc.), it must be mentioned in the synopsis. Please limit your synopsis to two single-spaced pages

The EXCERPT must be the first 2,000 words OR the first two chapters of your manuscript, whichever is longer. Do not choose an excerpt from the middle or end of the story.

Submissions under 15,000 words in length need only a QUERY LETTER and the FULL MANUSCRIPT.

Formatting Your Submission:

All attachments must be in RTF format only. If you use Word, choose "Save As ..." from the FILE menu and select "Rich Text Format" from the list. Any attachments in DOC, DOCX, HTML, PDF, TXT, WPD, or any other format will be rejected.

Format your submission as follows:
1 inch margins all around
Single line spacing
12 pt Arial font
First line of each paragraph indented (no tabs or spacing to create paragraphs)
Scene breaks should be four asterisks each centered on its own line
Title on first line, followed in parentheses by the word count
Author byline on the second line
No extra lines between paragraphs
Italics to indicate emphasis, thoughts, or foreign words
No underlining
No extra formatting, special or colored fonts, or special characters
Use smart quotes, ellipses, and em dashes where needed
All submissions must be spell-checked and self-edited. If the story is set in the United Kingdom or Commonwealth countries, UK English is acceptable. Stories set elsewhere must use US English. Regional words, slang, and dialect are acceptable. Stories must be well-written and free of grammatical errors. Do not send your first draft; send us your best.

Any submissions not formatted to our specifications will be rejected.

To Submit Your Story:

Send your submission via e-mail to with a subject line that reads: "SUBMISSION: Title of Story by Author's Name."

We respond to all submissions within 2 business days. If we like it, we may request the full manuscript. This is NOT a guarantee of acceptance. Depending on story length, the review time is between 1-2 weeks.

We DO NOT comment on rejected manuscripts.

All stories accepted for publication will require an exclusive contract for print and electronic rights, which will be sent and signed electronically. Our contracts are for an initial period of 2 years, after which they auto-renew. A sample contract is available upon request.

All U.S. citizens must agree to provide us with a completed W-9 upon contract execution.

Our submissions policy and guidelines are subject to change without notice.

J.M. Snyder, Owner
Updated May 24, 2012

Friday, April 19, 2013

Deserted Island

Once again, iTool has devoured my playlists, ratings and other information from my vast music library. I dunno, the program might just not be geared to supporting the amount of music I own, some 23.000 songs (that's an update... I've been saying 22,000+ for a while now, but it just crossed over a few days ago when I bought a bunch of music...)

Because of this, I've started using Spotify in angry protest... tired of iToons... but it also means I've been listening to my entire library on random. I don't do this particularly often. Twenty three thousand songs would take over 2 months to go through if I did nothing but listened to music all day long. And I do sleep, watch TV, play video games, etc.

But random's cool. I've been remembering a lot of music that I'd sort of forgotten about, or hadn't heard in quite a long time.

Like this; it's a song about someone who was cat-sitting their friend's pet, which then escaped. (Not to worry, in stuff on the band's web page, the cat was found...)

Or this one... yeah... I sort of think of this song as being ode to an introvert...

I'm not very good at "favorite" games. I'm the girl who describes at least six people as being "my best friend." I don't like to pick one thing; I want this and that and the other and all that over there, too, while I'm at it. Favorite food? Cheese (mostly any sort, except American, which is just gross.), steak, escargot with butter and garlic, spinach dip, asparagus and cream cheese omelets, chocolate mint ice cream, sixlets, licorice, fresh tomato slices with just a bit of sea salt, salted caramel, coffee... really, can I stop now? I'm making myself hungry.

And I've also never been really good at the "if you were on a deserted island, what 5 books would you take with you?" Seriously? Most of the books I love come in series; the Liaden series, which I adore, is over 16 books just by itself! (and yes, I probably could read the whole series back to back for a while...) I mean, have y'all seen my bookshelves? If I still own the book, it means I've read it more than once. In fact, there are several sets of books I make it a habit to read once every few years (Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Tenant of Wildefell Hall, the Liaden Universe, Uplift Saga, the Crystal Singer series, Dresden Files, the Vlad Taltos series, Watership Down, Rose of the Prohpet... )

Movies? Hunt for Red October, Mulan, Star Wars (yes, even episode 1. Fuck you. I don't care what you think.) the Duelists, Das Boot, Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name series, Hudson Hawk, Shaun of the Dead, the BBC Pride and Prejudice (the good one, not the craptastic Keirra Knightly version) the Mummy, xXx (yes. hush.), Lord of the Rings (elves! At helmsdeep. Oh, shut UP!) Fantasia, Shoot 'em Up (yes.), American Beauty... crap, now I want to go downstairs and watch tv all day...

But I thought, maybe - MAYBE, mind you - I could come up with 100 songs that I'd want to listen to for the rest of my life.

(Deserted island bullshit aside; seriously, if I can power a cd player, why the fuck can't I get off an island?)

I asked my husband what he thought and he said, "Oh, one song to listen to for the rest of my life? That's easy. 4:33."


If I'm going to talk about my "favorite" music, I can't not mention David Ford. Which is probably going to take a lot of (asides.) Sorry.

Aside #1: A few years back, the husband took me to the ballet for my birthday. I love the ballet. One of my best friends in high school was a dancer - my mom and I used to go watch her perform the nutcracker - and I always just loved it. She died on graduation night; she hadn't even been drinking, she just fell asleep at the wheel and went over the side of a bridge. Anyway, the husband took me to see Romeo and Juliet.

"On July 4, 2008, with the approval of the Prokofiev family and permission from the Russian State Archive, the original Prokofiev score was given its world premiere. Musicologist Simon Morrison, author of The People's Artist: Prokofiev's Soviet Years, unearthed the original materials in the Moscow archives, obtained permissions, and reconstructed the entire score. Mark Morris created the choreography for the production. The Mark Morris Dance Group premiered the work at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in New York state. The production subsequently began a year-long tour to include Berkeley, Norfolk, London, New York, and Chicago." -- wikipedia article

Aside #2 Now, keep in mind that I'm a russo-phile (Russian artwork, music, literature, hell, I even minored in Russian Studies, a subject that might have done me more professional good if I'd bothered to learn to SPEAK RUSSIAN instead of Chinese... don't look at me like that, the line was shorter...) and this was just one of the most perfect birthday presents ever.

So, the Norfolk center for the arts starts sending me stuff about upcoming shows. Including what I thought was a really clever marketing idea; a CD with one song from each of the upcoming performers for that season.

Concert tickets are pretty expensive, however, so we don't usually bother to go. I ripped the CD and promptly forgot about it. I don't even know that I listened to it that day.

Several months later, I load my phone up with a random playlist - grabbed about 200 songs - and went to the laundromat. I've got my laptop out and I'm plugging away at my latest story when this song comes on:

The volume is cranked on my headphones, I'm trying desperately to ignore the other people doing their wash, and this music just crashes over me like a crescendo of words and music and emotions. Holy shit. I stopped what I was doing, closed my eyes, and had a fucking religious experience, right there in the laundromat.

Seriously. Listen to it again. Turn the music up as loud as you can until you can't hear anything else. Close your eyes. Just feel it.


You'll see opinion dressed as fact
See definitions inexact
And explain away the darkest days
As misinterpretation
The dumbing down, it's so uncouth
Like there's one single fucking truth
I couldn't bear that right and wrong
Could be so uncomplicated.

Yes, I could listen to this song, this one song, every day for the rest of my life.

But I'd rather have some variety; so he's a random sampling of songs from my (as yet incomplete, but I have 46 songs on the list so far) Top 100

Black Velvet - Alannah Myles
Mohammed's Radio - Warren Zevon
She Said She was a Dancer - Jethro Tull
Ordinary World - Duran Duran
Birdhouse in your Soul - They Might Be Giants
Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
Non Je Ne Regrette Rein - Edith Pilaf
Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
Alexandra Leaving - Leonard Cohen
The Speed of Pain - Marilyn Manson

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Guest Post, Tim Miller

So, Tim Miller is one of the excellent writers at Vamptasty - the slightly darker/less sex sister publishing house of Hot Ink...

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?
marketing and getting noticed. It's the most time consuming, and hardest to figure out by far as well as the most frustrating.
(Lynn: Seems like a lot of people say this, so I may put together or gather up information about marketing.)
When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?
Ever since I was a little kid I used to write. I'd type stories on the typewriter at the library and sell them at school for 10 cents.
Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?
I'm actually most enjoying the book I'm working on right now. I think it's the scariest and most mainstream project I've done so far.
What are your biggest pet peeves for other people's grammar? Are there any mistakes that you find yourself making regularly?
I know I make mistakes, but not any same one that I'm aware of. I just hate when people can't spell. I don't mean typos either, I mean they just plain don't know how to spell shit. It's annoying
Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story?
Not really. I know authors who do. I feel like once a story has been told my writing continues to grow, so I'd rather move on to something new.
What's the worst thing that ever happened to you that you've incorporated into a story?
In my first book (no longer in print) Without a Trace, there is a scene for a police officer's funeral. As I wrote that story I was a corrections officer at the time for the sheriff's department. One of our officers was killed in the line of duty, so I drew on that raw emotion to write that scene, it came out pretty powerful as a result.
How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?
All writers incorporate some experience into their work, as far as people, I never put people I know into my stories.
What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?
I have the sequel to the Hand of God coming out in May, that is called Revenge of the Three. Here is an excerpt:

“Get it off me! Get it off me!” One man cried as he ran past Kirkland. He bolted from the sanctuary and into the foyer. He found the men’s room and ran in, trying to wash his head in the sink, running cold water over it. He looked in the mirror but the flame was still there. He grabbed paper towels and tried to smother it, but it didn’t go out. He ran back to the church as the screams grew louder. Once he was back inside, he saw everyone—members of the band, women, and children, all engulfed in flames. Some ran around while others were rolling on the ground. Still others lie motionless, already dead.           

Kirkland didn’t know why this was happening. Why would the Holy Spirit do this? He could only conclude that it had to be Satan. They had been fooled, and now it was too late. He kept trying to put out the flame on his head, but to no avail. Before the fire took him, he wondered what was more horrifying, watching all his people burn to death, or knowing he was next. 

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.
I currently train MMA and hope to have a mixed martial arts fight before the end of 2013.
I was interviewed last month by Fight! Magazine
I was in the Marine Corps from 1992 to 1996

You can also find Tim on his facebook page; he's a completely different kind of writer than I usually see here - which is totally cool! Whereas I usually talk about sex, he talks about mixed martial arts!
PS - I had a friend in college with the same name who will be forever remembered as the "heat seeking lasers" guy... this is not that Tim. Just in case you were wondering...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Writer's Call Wednesday: Coming Together military anthology

Coming Together: In the Trenches is a military-themed collection of erotica and erotic romance edited by Lady Grey. All proceeds will benefit Protect Our Defenders.

We're seeking erotic fiction of up to 10,000 words with a military theme. All sexual pairings are welcome.

Stories should be attached to an email in DOC or RTF format and sent to with the subject IN THE TRENCHES SUBMISSION. In the body of the email, please include a brief author bio (with links to site/blog) and a promo blurb for the story. Reprints are welcome, provided the author holds the rights.

Contributing authors will receive complementary digital copies of the book. Additional compensation in karma.

Lady Grey wrote her first erotica short story on a dare. “Sea Story,” was published in Coming Together: Arm in Arm in Arm, and from that time on, she has been enticed into all manner of unseemly literary adventures. Her latest is to serve as editrix-ter of a military-themed anthology, Coming Together: In the Trenches to benefit Protect Our Defenders. When not exploring interesting and athletic ways to fit characters together, she enjoys teaching criminal justice, serving her country, reading, and forcing herself to run, even when no one is chasing her. You can follow her adventures, writing and otherwise, at

Submissions Close August 31, 2013

Tentative Release Date, Veteran's Day 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Guest Post: Meet Sarah Jayne Carr

Hello! I must say, I'm delighted to have Sarah Jayne here with me today, and not just because she spells her name like my favorite television character. (Okay, so that might have more to do with it than anything. I'll admit it, the Hero of Canton is awesome!) ANYWAY... I give you Sarah Jayne Carr...

What are your greatest challenges in your writing career?

Finding enough time to do it. There are never enough hours in the day to accomplish what I would like to do.

(Lynn: That does seem to be a common theme...)

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

My cousins and I used to write stories as children. Throughout the years, I would write snippets and put them away, pulling them out periodically. In 2005, I discovered NaNoWriMo and wrote my first full-length novel. The rest is history!

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why?

Completed? Embracing Hamilton. Amelia really starts to come out of her shell and the personality dynamics blossom for some of the characters. Work in progress? Hunting Hamilton. Let’s just say I enjoy writing a warped character named Estian.

What are your biggest pet peeves for other people's grammar? Are there any mistakes that you find yourself making regularly?

I’m a spelling junkie and I try very hard to spell everything correctly. Let’s just say the Dictionary/Thesaurus app on my phone is one of the top three apps I gravitate toward. ;)

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story? 

Nope, it’s finished for a reason and if I were to change anything, it might alter the stories that occur after it. As for grammatical edits? I’m OCD about them so I do my best to let anything go I see.

How do you decide on character names? 

I try to name my characters after people I don’t personally know (or at least at the time of the character’s creation). I don’t want any true-to-life traits to influence my imagination.

Tell me about your first publication. Who was it with? How did you feel when you got that acceptance? 

My first publication was the first release of Revealing Hamilton. It with a publisher who has since shut their doors. Acceptance? There’s no other feeling like it. It’s a complete high and it feeds the muse!

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work? 

Very little is added to my story when it comes to real people. A lot of my characters die so I try to make my characters unique and unlike anyone I actually know. On a separate note, I take some life experiences and those absolutely weave into my writing. For instance, there’s a scene in the JR7 series that takes place in a morgue. Guess who went on a tour? This girl!

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress? 

I recently finished book two of the JackRabbit7 series, Embracing Hamilton. It’s due to be released this fall. Here’s an excerpt (unedited):

“You have a lot of nerve calling and asking for help. You know that? I replied. “Why don’t you just go to the police?”
“I can’t go to the police for the same reason you can’t go to the police: we’re in over our heads. You know, none of this would have happened if it wasn’t for your grandfather,” he muttered.
I heard a crash in the closet and my heart pounded up into my throat. Unable to speak, my mind pieced together that Nick was across the hall. Someone else was in the room with me. 
“Nice. Now you’re going to give me the silent treatment?” Don asked.
It couldn’t be Donovan in the closet. I would have heard it through the phone and he didn’t seem to have a clue about the clatter. I flipped the phone shut, allowing my own safety to triumph over the continued argument. If I died, no one would be around to save Simon, Herb or Camille: provided Donovan told the truth.
My hands were clammy as I rubbed my fingertips against my palms. I reached out for the closet door and everything appeared in order. Old shirts hung to the left and jackets hung to the right. I wondered why Don hadn’t taken everything with him when he moved out.
When I looked lower, I noticed a pair of faded loafers on the floor. Strange. Donovan never wore anything like them. I allowed my eyes to travel upward and noticed jeans were positioned above the shoes. When one of the pant legs twitched, I realized I had a problem.

What's your writing routine? 

The muse is always orchestrating in the background of what I’m doing. Whether I’m at work, driving, at daycare or elsewhere…she’s thinking of ways to tackle me. When do I write? After the kiddo is in bed at night.

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's? 

I have two plot lines going on right now and both main characters are bull-headed. They fight for dominance in my mind so they’re always stuck in my head.

What writers or novels do you consider “must reads”? 

I love reading anything by my CHBB (Crushing Hearts and Black Butterflies, the sister press of Hot Ink)  family. My favorite author from over the years is Laurell K Hamilton because she was who first inspired me to take my writing seriously. My favorite book of all time is The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. It’s this amazing murder mystery about nursery rhyme characters.

Talk to us about your domestic life; a favorite recipe, craft, your pets, children, house, or favorite set of socks.

I live in Washington with my husband and our golden nugget. By day, I work in medical billing and I’m a novelist by night. Socks? Now, we’re talkin’! I love socks! Variety is key and they don’t have to match! Favorites? They include vivid colors, animals, toe socks, etc! My absolute favorite pair are rainbow monster socks with felt teeth on the toes. They also have floppy eyes on the tops of them.

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

I’m an ordained minister, I’ve given a dolphin a vaginal exam and when I met Laurell K. Hamilton I accidentally said, “I love you” in front of a studio audience of a talk show. Oops!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Writer's Call Wednesday: LONG deadline

I have posted a lot of links here for antho calls and I was talking with one of my writer friends about a collection I thought she should submit to; and she said,

"Well, I'll see, but it's a pretty tight deadline."
I looked at the call again, counted days, and said "It's over a month away..."

"That's a tight deadline for ME." (Keeping in mind that she has 2 kids, a soon-to-be ex-husband, a boyfriend, two different editing jobs... and I start thinking she's right...)

So here's a deadline for January NEXT YEAR. Obviously, no one has to submit for it... but if you chose to do so, you've got plenty of time...

Due to the success of Smut in the City, Lucy Felthouse and Kevin Mitnik are pleased to announce that they’re putting together a spin-off anthology, with a Sapphic theme.

Smut in the City: Sapphic Edition will be a collection of lesbian erotica with an urban/city feel edited by Lucy Felthouse and Kevin Mitnik.

The Smut in the City: Sapphic Edition anthology will feature stories from a variety of genres, but they must have that overall “city” feel, either in location or style. Think sex in or around famous tourist attractions, on top of skyscrapers, on the underground or subway, in city centre fountains and so on. But be aware all of those examples have already been done in the original anthology, so be unique!
Read Smut by the Sea Volumes 1 and 2, Smut in the City and Smut Alfresco to get an idea of what we like. If you’d like some clarification before submitting your story then please contact us.


  • Submission deadline: 1st Jan 2104
  • Genres: Any
  • Theme: Sapphic
  • Pairings: F/F (multiples accepted)
  • Word count: 3,000 – 6,000
Need some clarification before submitting? Please Contact Us


Royalties will be split 40% of the net profits with contributing authors, exact values will be given once we know how many stories will be in the final anthology. Royalties will be paid to each contributor once their share reaches a minimum threshold of £20.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Roll with it

Well, I'm finished Part Three of London Steam, my vampire / artificial heart / daughter of a demon menage story...

Pretty awesome. And it's already been contracted by Torquere Press, which is More Awesome.

I have a cowboy story, Pistols & Guns, out right now. Ripped is still out - I begin to think that project folded and vanished into nothingness. The story's been out for over a year now and I haven't heard a word... My middle-aged lesbian story is out... and that's it at the moment.

I may or may not write a Tristan & Isolde based BDSM story; I have one that's about halfway done, but I'm not really happy with it. I think I'd have to scrap what I've written and start over. The due date for that one is May 1st, so I still have time... ish.

And I may submit stories for both Sex Objects (due July 1st) and Delilah's Highlanders & Knights call... (due June 1st)...

I've also finished concept edits for my fantasy-romance novel, cut the word count down dramatically, and have it ready for pitching. More on that later.

I need to finish writing my vampire urban supernatural story - I pretty much ended the damn thing right after the climax (story climax, not sex climax!) without having any of the falling action, sum-up stuff that usually makes up the end of a romance novel.

And then there's what I want to be doing now... which is the coming of age, m/m story, Roll, that's somewhat loosely based on a short story that I never finished. The original short was about two lovers, one of the men firmly in the closet, especially with his family, who took his boyfriend out to the family farm on a day when no one else was supposed to be there (because it was the day before his brother's wedding, and really, everyone had something better to be doing...) and ends up getting caught... that scene is still going to be in the novel, but when I sat down to map out the characters, they both had more to tell me. And in the end, I decided to let them. Which means I have a novel length project in front of me....

Beau with his uptight, highly religious family, and Vin with his over-protective grandparents and the search for his birth-father...

So, I'm working on that. My outline gives me the thought that this'll be about a 50,000 - 75,000 word novel... which means if I write about 2,500 - 3,000 words a week, I should be ready for edits in September/October.

And I've still got my short-short project; we just passed 25,000 words yesterday... I think it's going well, and that should be complete by June. (Oh, and I could use some more prompts... 5 words, noun, verb, adjective, and two random...)

Busy writer is busy. I've already written 3,200 words on Roll this week, in addition to writing 1,800 words yesterday on my short-short (which I may steal, write another 2,000 words on, and turn in as my short for Sex Objects... we'll see....)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Guest Writer, Gabriella Lepore

I'd like to introduce you today to a slightly different sort of writer... young adult writer Gabriella Lepore. I have to say, I adore young adult work when I'm reading outside of my own genre - and I do read out of genre all the time. Mostly because I get somewhat worried about story-lag. Liking someone else's scene so much that I end up duplicating it in my own work.

So, please welcome Gabriella, and check out her work. (Besides, she's Welsh - like me! - and that makes her AWESOME!)

When did you find out that you wanted to be a writer? What inspired you to put pen to paper?

I remember being around seven years old and telling my friend that I wanted to be an author. From that day on, I began writing down my daydreams… and I never stopped!

Of your published works, do you have a favorite? Why? 
I have 3 published YA novels, The Witches of the Glass Castle, How I Found You and Evanescent, and although there are aspects of each that are particularly significant to me, I couldn’t pick a favorite. I’d feel too disloyal to the ones I didn’t pick!

For links to the books check out

How do you decide on character names?

I only ever seem to have trouble deciding on the name of the female lead charter. In The Witches of the Glass Castle, Mia was called Maisy until my final edits. And in How I Found You, Rose was called Jessica in my first draft. Evanescent was a little different, I was sure I wanted a strong Welsh name to tie-in with the nods to Welsh folk lore in the book (by the way, I’m Welsh!), that’s where Bronwen came from. It means ‘pure hearted’.

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

Very little. In fact, it’s usually the other way around–I’m forever slipping up and calling people by character names! I suppose because I spend so much time thinking about these characters, and writing them, it’s easy to get confused!

(Note from your blog hostess here - I have done this. When my ankle was broken and I was recovering from surgery, I spent quite a bit of time in the recovery room because I wanted, desperately wanted, my friend's demon character, Xarroch, to come sit with me... as a note, he had healing powers, so that probably contributed!)

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?

Tarantula is my current project. I’ll share the prologue below…

It was November. The leaves had changed and fallen, and they’d spread across the streets like a crisp, tawny river winding through the outer limits of Ashwood Hollow. The temperature had dropped, too; winter was on its way. I remember the air was brisk that day, and I’d made it halfway to school before the chill began to crawl under my skin. My denim jacket just wasn’t cutting it anymore. 
It’s funny, but that’s the thought that kept playing through my mind while I sat in the front passenger seat of a black Lancia, wrestling to free myself from the rope that bound my wrists. I should have worn a coat, was all I could think. 
We sped past the You Are Now Leaving Ashwood Hollow signpost. I watched it whizz by and noticed the words Come Back Soon! scrawled in small letters across the bottom. Huh, I mused. I’d never noticed that before. I guess I didn’t leave often enough. 
My captor was silent, his hands on the steering wheel, his eyes trained on the desolate road ahead. Thin, spindly trees lined the tarmac, a layer of morning mist clinging to their branches. 
I was cold, and I was scared. And I knew, as I watched the wing mirror and saw the signpost disappear into the distance, that I would not be coming back soon. In fact, I would not be coming back, ever.
I want to make one thing clear, though—he wasn’t all bad. If he had been, then maybe I wouldn’t have ended up here, telling you this story. But I’ll get to that later. For now, I probably should start at the beginning.

Tell us three things about you that are interesting.

I don’t know if these count as interesting, but I’ll give it a go… My favorite movie is Hocus Pocus, my favorite color is green, and my favorite number is 22!

Visit Gabriella Lepore Books Facebook page!
Or follow on Twitter 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Calls for Submission: Sex Objects

Editor: Delilah Devlin
Publisher: Cleis Press in Spring 2014
Deadline: July 1, 2013 (although sooner is better!)


Editor Delilah Devlin is looking for hetero stories for a romantic erotica anthology tentatively entitled SEX OBJECTS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF EROTIC ROMANCE STORIES.

High powered, high ranking...and in high heels.

The term “Sex Object” brings to mind a curvaceous starlet on a casting couch or an iconic, bee-stung-lipped beauty being pursued by a powerful, capable man. Turn that concept upside down by allowing the woman to objectify a handsome, sensual man, using the concepts of role reversal and power play but from a female perspective, and you have the makings of something evocative and fun for the feminine, romance reading audience.

Imagine powerful women unafraid of going after the men they want...
* A beautiful divorcee stepping out for the first time as a single woman with a paid male escort.
* The movie producer using the casting couch to lure the latest movie heart throb into a torrid affair.
* A university professor calling a male grad student into conference to discuss his “thesis.”
* A worldly corporate boss asking for “dictation” from her personal assistant.

These women will be masters of their own domain, in charge and proud...capable of using sex for pleasure's sake...but ultimately succumbing to the pull of desire created by the "objects” of their desire.

SEX OBJECTS will seek contemporary stories, although the editor is open to a futuristic or historical. Exotic, international settings will be considered. Traditional themes/tropes can be used, but writers are encouraged to create tales that surprise. Delilah seeks unique stories from authors with strong voices, and above all, she’s looking to be seduced by tales filled with vivid imagery and passion.

Published authors with an established world may use that setting for their original short story.

Keeping in mind that this volume is targeted at women, the editor seeks mainly hetero stories, but will consider bisexual or lesbian encounters and polyamorous relationships. This is erotic romance, so don’t hold back on the heat. Stories can be vanilla or filled with kink, but a deep sensuality should linger in every word—and don’t miss describing the connection between strong-willed individuals learning to trust and love one another. Keep in mind there must be a romantic element with a happy-for-now or happy-ever-after ending. Strong plots, engaging characters, and unique twists are the ultimate goal. Please no reprints. These must be original stories.

How to submit: Prepare your 1,500 to 4,500 words story in a double-spaced, Arial, 12 point, black font document with pages numbered (.doc, NOT.docx) OR rich text format. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch and double space (regular double spacing, do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). US grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) is required.

In your document at the top left of the page, include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), mailing address, and 50 words or less bio in the third person to If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Authors may submit up to 2 stories. Delilah will respond in December 2013. The publisher has final approval over the stories included in the manuscript.

Payment will be $50.00 USD and two copies of the published book upon publication.

About the editor: Ms. Devlin has published over a hundred and twenty stories in multiple sub-genres and lengths with Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Kensington, Kindle, Montlake Romance, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing. In Fall 2011, she debuted her first anthology with Cleis Press, GIRLS WHO BITE. Since then, she has published SHE SHIFTERS and COWBOY LUST. SMOKIN’ HOT FIREFIGHTERS and HIGH OCTANE HEROES  release in summer 2013.

Direct any questions you have regarding your story or the submission process to Delilah at

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Or Why do the Brits think we all sound like we're from Texas

I have a friend in my on-line guild (I play Star Wars, The Old Republic these days) who does this Minnesota sex-tape voice "oh yah, baby. Just like that. yah, oh yah." If you've seen Fargo, you know why this cracks me up, Every Single Time he does it. One of these days I'm going to get a recording of it... I might even use it as my ring tone...

Now, I watch a lot of movies from the UK (Love, Actually being one of my favorite "chick flicks"...) and the only thing I hate about it is that Colin goes to WISCONSIN and ends up hooking up with a lot of "American babes." Who all sounded and looked like they had guest star appearances on Dallas. Straw cowboy hats, shorts skirts and cowboy boots. Okay, seriously, I'm here to tell you that very few people wear heeled cowboy boots when they're walking around in the snow. Okay? ok.

Talking with one of my writer-friends, she was asking about how much of a southern accent she should put into her novel; one editor was saying "please take out all these apostrophes and put the g's back in to works like waitin', readin', and thinkin'." A good Southern expression is "fixin' to get ready." Another one is "y'all." True Southerners will sometimes say y'all's. Or even, "all y'all's."

  • Y'all - You All. Y'all come back now, y'hear? (All of you, feel free to visit again soon!)
  • Y'all's - You All's. Are these y'all's dogs? (Do these dogs belong to your entire family, or are there some neighbor dogs mixed in?)
  • All y'all's - All of your stuff. "Get all y'all's shoes out of the foyer!" (Could all of the children please remove their shoes from the front hallway?)

One of my best friends is from New York. We have horrible arguments about whether the field-mouse batterer in the song's name is Little Bunny Foo Foo or Little Rabbit Foo Foo.

I say Bunny. She says Rabbit. We have been arguing about this for approximately twenty years. (Feel free to weigh in on that discussion... I'll bring it up next time we talk, provided y'all agree with me.)

I spend a lot of time doing research when I'm writing.

I wish the folks at Disney had done some...

 Here's a picture from Pocohontas... nice waterfall. Too bad Jamestown is a freaking swamp. There's no waterfalls. Hell, there's barely any hills around here at all. It's woods and marsh and muck, and by the way, it smells terrible. Also, floods a lot.

look how FLAT that is...

I was talking earlier today with one of my editors; somewhere there's a fine line between accuracy and readability. A military dress shirt is called a blouse, even when worn by a man. This may be accurate, but your average reader is going to assume typo, if they don't have extensive military background. Heck, I didn't even know it until I was told, and my father was in the Navy, my grandfather in the Air Force, and my ex-husband was a Marine.

In the end, you really need to decide if it's important to the story to be accurate...

(And yes, it's still a Chocolate Chess Pie, not a chocolate cheesecake.... you Northerners need to get some culture!)

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a lot like....

I'm a terrible gardener. I've got a black-thumb. I can even kill cactus and succulents, two kinds of plants I'm told are "damn near impossible" to kill.

So spring time doesn't usually fill me with tons of joy to get out there and dig around in the garden. I've managed to raise a couple pots of cherry tomatoes - at least until the squirrels got hold of them. But mostly, I've just ended up with pots of mulch and dead plant.

But - and here's the wonderful thing about being a writer; I don't have to have experienced something to write about it. I love doing research. I have several SME's (Subject Matter Experts) that I consult for information. And one of my best friends is a research librarian (probably the best friend a writer could have, aside from an editor. Oh, wait! I have one of those, too!) and she's always delighted to help me look stuff up if my research skills fail.

Which is how I came to write a story about a woman who loves her garden. Really, really loves her garden.

Garden Variety Excerpt

The carafe of wine slipped, unnoticed, from Jackie's hand and smashed onto the patio.  Shards of glass and splatters of Chianti barely registered as she stared, gape-mouthed, at the wreckage of her garden.

Before work, Jackie had checked the seedling beans, twining tomato plants, and a few decorative flats of strawberries, and everything had been pristine.  She'd plucked a few weeds from the warm soil, bound up a falling tomato vine, relocated a few bugs, and discussed the latest celebrity news with the attentive bean sprouts.  After a day of manning the phones at East Agency Collections, being called multiple names – as if she were the one who'd run up thousands of dollars of credit card debt and then tried to default on it – and being bitched out thoroughly by her manager, Jackie had been looking forward to a glass of wine, a book of poetry, and the company of her pleasant, non-meddlesome, non-annoying, quiet plants.  As far as Jackie was concerned, plants were much better company than most humans.

Especially now.

All four vertical trellises that Jackie had painstakingly put together herself lay in shattered ruins.  There was potting soil all over the patio.  Her budding garden, lovingly tended, was torn asunder; the plants yanked rudely from their clay pots and shredded.  There was seemingly nothing that could be salvaged.  This was no act of a careless child, not the destruction of someone's dog that had slipped their leash for a few short moments.  This was wanton, cruel desecration.

“Who the hell would do such a thing?” Jackie was barely aware that she spoke aloud, tears of rage and grief spilling over her lower lids.  She turned her head from side to side, as if seeking answers, but there was nothing.  With all the potting soil scattered all over the patio, she would have thought at least that there would have been some tracks, but the earth gave up no trace of the murderer of her garden.

All she saw was one flicker of life, one tiny, tenacious plant that clung to life.

She dropped gingerly to one knee, avoiding the shards of pottery and glass, scooping up the runner bean sprout. She’d bought them just last week – very expensive – from Garden Variety nursery.

“I'll make it right,” she promised.  Jackie pulled together a handful of soil and pressed it into her empty wine glass.  It wasn’t the best solution, but perhaps it would be enough to keep the one plant alive until she was able to get to the nursery.  “I'll make everything all right again.”

“I promise.”

Just not today, she thought as she closed the porch door on her savaged plants.  Maybe things will look better in the morning.