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Friday, November 30, 2012

A Great Miracle Happened There

This winter, Jude Bloch can't decide what bothers him more—the crowds of people or the holiday revelry. Even meeting handsome chef Mac Appel fails to cheer him up because Jude knows the most he could hope for is a one-night stand. But one night turns into two and then more. Maybe Mac can bring some warmth into Jude's holiday season.
In the mood for a Hanukkah story with miracles and sex and pastries? Available now, only $2.99.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Next Big Thing Blog Hop

The talented Jessica Freely invited me to participate in this and it sounded like fun. I have several projects in various stages of progression, so I've decided to answer these questions about a novel that will be released in February or March.

What is the working title of your book?
Venetian Masks

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The book is set in Venice, with forays to other places in central Europe. The idea came to me last year, when I was lucky enough to live in Croatia and to spend a week in beautiful Venice.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary m/m romance with a suspense twist.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

Jeff would be a young Paul Bettany, I think, but with a California accent.
And Cleve looks a little like Raffaello Balzo, only with sleeve tattoos and an American accent:

I'd never actually heard of Raffaello Balzo before, but that link up above has some really nice photos. :-)

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

When Jeff Dawkins is dumped by his boyfriend, he takes a solo trip to Venice, where he meets mysterious Cleve--a handsome and potentially dangerous man.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
Dreamspinner Press will be publishing it, with a February or March release date.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Roughly one month.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.
That's a tough one--and I don't have a good answer!

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My own travels inspired me. I love traveling and do it as much as possible. When I do travel, I like to plan, but I also am prepared to go with the flow and deal with surprises. But even I feel a little anxious when I visit someplace new, so I imagined what an overseas trip would be like for someone who'd never gone before, and who was pretty hesitant about dealing with the unexpected.

What else about your book might interest the reader?
Aside from Venice, there are scenes in Zagreb, Ljubljana, and Trieste. And a short glossary of Italian and Croatian terms!
Next week's bloggers, posting December 5:

Friday, November 23, 2012

December tour, giveaways, and releases

December is going to be a very exciting month for me, with the releases of one novel (Brute)  and two holiday-themed short stories (A Great Miracle Happened There and Joys R Us). To celebrate, I have a busy calendar of events, including a blog tour and book giveaways. Here's the calendar as it stands now; there may be additions as we go, so please check back.

I'll be giving away one e-copy and one print copy of Brute during the blog tour. To enter, just leave a comment on my post at any of the blogs below. You can enter multiple times by commenting on mutiple blogs. I'll choose winners on December 25.

I hope you can join me!

ALL MONTH: Silver Publishing Scavenger Hunt Promo

DEC 1: A Great Miracle Happened There available from Dreamspinner Press

DEC. 3: Brute available from Dreamspinner Press
              Guest interview at Slashsessed

DEC. 3 through 7: Equipoise is free in Kindle format!

DEC. 4: Guest blog with Charlie Cochet

DEC. 5: Guest blog with Cate Ashwood

DEC. 6: Guest blog with Lily Velden

DEC. 7: Guest interview with Matthew Lang

DEC. 8: Guest blog with Ana Bosch

DEC. 9: Guest blog with Anne Barwell

DEC. 10: Guest blog with Shira Anthony

DEC. 11: Guest blog with Jana Denardo
               Nice & Naughty Interview at Between the Covers

DEC. 12: Guest blog with Butterfly-O-Meter Books

DEC. 13: Joys R Us avaliable from Silver Publishing
               Guest  blog with Jacob Flores

DEC. 14: Guest blog with Augusta Li

DEC. 15: Guest interview at Spankingworld

DEC. 16: Guest blog with J.R. Loveless

Some time between Dec. 17 and Dec. 21: My post appears for Long and Short Reviews Christmas Blogfest

DEC. 17: Jana Denardo guest blogs here

DEC. 18: Guest blog with D.J. Serani

DEC. 24: Guest blog at Guys Like Romance, Too (with an extra giveaway!)

DEC. 25: Winners in Brute giveaway chosen

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm so thrilled!

Wow!! Speechless made it to the final round of the Rainbow Awards cover contest, thanks to your support! This is a huge deal because there were hundreds of covers to begin with, and now we're down to the final 10. And boy, there are some gorgeous covers! Please go vote for your favorite 3 (you vote by leaving a comment).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dealing with student whining

I sort of outed myself to one of my classes today. Here's how the conversation went:

Students: [loud and assorted whining about the 15 page term paper that's due next week--which I assigned to them in August]
Me: I don't want to hear it. I've written 55,000 words in the last 20 days. That's over 100 single-spaced pages.
Female Student 1: Why?
Me: November is National Novel Writing Month. For the fourth year in a row, I'm writing a novel in a month.
Students: [various impressed noises]
Male student 1: What's your novel about?
Me: A werewolf.
Female student 2: You mean it's Twilight?
Me: No, definitely not Twilight.
Male student 2: But is your werewolf gay? Ha ha ha.
Me: As a matter of fact, yes.
Students: [surprised silence]
Male student 2: So then is your gay werewfolf like Twilight?
Me: No, mine is a architect and generally keeps his shirt on.
Students: [laughter]

Then we started talking about execution methods in ancient Egypt.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Promo

December Promo Scavenger Hunt With Free Holiday Story Book Give Away and Site Wide Discount Code Scramble

Happy holidays! Silver Publishing wants to give our fans more than 60 chances to win either a free Holiday Story from our 25 Days of Christmas Releases or for a lucky random five 20% off codes! And if you are really dedicated there is a Word Scramble included that will provide a discount for titles purchased during the last week of December!

To make it even more exciting, the authors participating may offer new and interesting content or contests of their own to help distract from the frantic pace of the holidays.

So, how does it work?

In a nutshell: Find all the snowflakes every day, email us at promotions@spsilverpublishing.comwith the author name/date for each snowflake you find, check our blog daily to see if you won and then use the pertinent snowflakes to spell out an additional discount code to use at the end of the month.

Not in a nutshell: Participants go to the following blogs every day in December and find the hidden snowflakes. There will be at least two, sometimes three snowflakes to be found among the list of facebook/blogs/websites below for our authors. The snowflake will look like a variation of this:

Find them all for the maximum amount of chances to win.

Once you find the snowflake, note the letter, number or character as well as the numerical indicator (if present) on the snowflake for the scramble. The numbered snowflakes will line up to spell out your discount code.

Email us at promotions@silverpublishing.comwith the name of the blog/website where the snowflakes were hidden on that date.

Important email format: Please put only the name of one author and the date in your subject line - for maximum chances to win, each snowflake/author found should be its own email for an increased daily chance to win.

If your email subject line includes the correct answer you will be entered into a random drawing to win the Christmas Release for the day you found the snowflake. There will be at least 2 winners per day; five days there will be 3 winners.

Winners will be notified in our new BLOG here: http://bit.ly/Wi7uyq= (bookmark this link so that you can check back each day.) If you are the winner for that day, email us with your email address and format desired to promotions@silverpublishing.comso that we can get your prize to you quickly.

Helpful hints: Some authors will have more than one snowflake during the event. But authors will only post one snowflake per day so search them all every day. Don’t leave any out for maximum chances to win.

Once you have found all the snowflakes, line up the letters, characters and numbers based on the numerical indicator (when present) to spell out our Holiday message and receive a discount code that will be active from Dec 25 – 31st.

Not every participating author has a Holiday release but you’ll want to collect the snowflake on their site for another chance to win the story being released that day. And…they might have one of the five valuable discount snowflakes we’ve hidden with your chance to win that day.

If the authors are running additional contests, take advantage for additional ways to win throughout the month.

Here is your list and GOOD LUCK!

Kim Fielding - author of Joys R Us

Link: http://bit.ly/105Kz8z

Silvia Violet - author of Needing a Little Christmas

Link: http://bit.ly/XmrQIb

Elysabeth M. VaLey - author of Punishing Santa

Link: http://bit.ly/T8ECGK

Freddy MacKay - author of Snowed

Link: http://bit.ly/UMqEfI

Annabelle Jacobs - author of Snowflakes and Strangers

Link: http://bit.ly/S23OxE

Pelaam - author of Christmas Magic

Link: http://on.fb.me/Wjy5Lw

Rebecca Leigh - author of The Angel's Fall

Link: http://bit.ly/ZP8wBK

N Phillips - author of The Christmas Mix Up

Link: http://on.fb.me/108x33S

Grace Roselyn - author of The Treasure of Christmas

Link: http://bit.ly/QlEWCG

Ellen Heights - author of Three Men and a Christmas Goddess

Link: http://bit.ly/XokyDJ

Mathilde Watson:

Link: http://bit.ly/U73dvb

Andi Anderson

Link: http://bit.ly/QQzKGO

Lillian Frances - author of When Love Flue In

Link: http://bit.ly/T8EYNw

Azura Ice - author of Wrapped Around Your Handlebars

Link: http://bit.ly/TQx5tz

Ashlynn Monroe - author of A Most Unexpected Gift

Link: http://bit.ly/UMrwRz

SJD Peterson

Link: http://bit.ly/TKh8mv

EM Lynley

Link: http://bit.ly/QlFDMi

Gregg A. Endless

Link: http://bit.ly/SUVXPH

Elinor Gray

Link: http://bit.ly/Xmt06v

Emma Paul

Link: http://bit.ly/105QUBM

Caitlin Ricci

Link: http://bit.ly/T8FWt6

Vona Logan

Link: http://bit.ly/U737nB

M.A. Stacie

Link: http://bit.ly/S25gA1

Dawn H. Hawkes

Link: http://bit.ly/SUWfpG

Meredith Russell

Link: http://bit.ly/QPvCae

R.J. Scott

Link: http://bit.ly/UMshK8

Lisa Worrall

Link: http://bit.ly/RKzzKe


Link: http://bit.ly/Uyvhnv

Jessica E. Subject

Link: http://bit.ly/XQIgaW

RC Bonitz

Link: http://bit.ly/T3dRjD

Lexi Ander

Link: http://bit.ly/TQylNf

Sarah Bella

Link: http://bit.ly/Q2OBwD

William Cooper

Link: http://bit.ly/Q1QWb8

D. McEntire

Link: http://bit.ly/U0T8Ow

T. C. Archer

Link: http://bit.ly/ZPeanw

Tarah Scott

Link: http://bit.ly/S5NQ3S

The Mischief Corner

Link: http://bit.ly/WjBZnv

Lily Harlem

Link: http://bit.ly/T8sdSe

Maria MoonStar

Link: http://bit.ly/U0QJDC

S.A. Garcia

Link: http://bit.ly/Q1RgXj

Marie Ashley

Link: http://bit.ly/QlHvVl

Eve Tesoro

Link: http://bit.ly/RKyiCQ

Silver Blog

Link: http://bit.ly/Wi7uyq

Scarlet Blackwell - author of Homeless at Christmas

Link: http://bit.ly/105J6z4

NJ Neilsen - author of A Moon-Runner Christmas

Link: http://bit.ly/T8ETth

TN Tarrant - author of A Not So Straight Christmas

Link: http://on.fb.me/U72w5h

Karly Maddison - author of A Puppy for Christmas

Link: http://bit.ly/T8rHDE

Toni Griffin - author of A Very Holland Christmas

Link: http://bit.ly/QPwBXG

Cheyenne Meadows - author of Christmas with Mesa

Link: http://bit.ly/ZPfDKx

Heidi Lynn Anderson - author of Christmas Longing

Link: http://bit.ly/U0Rnkq

LM Brown - author of Someone Like You

Link: http://bit.ly/UMtXnb

Vicktor Alexander - author of Chocolate Vanilla Swirl

Link: http://bit.ly/RKyO3J

Jannie Lund - author of Clear as Glass

Link: http://bit.ly/SCpA7T

Piper Whitney - author of Fractured Heart

Link: http://bit.ly/T4jzlg

Nicole Dennis - author of 7 Days of Christmas

Link: http://bit.ly/SW7Rc6

Friday, November 16, 2012

Brute available December 3!

I am very excited to announce that my next novel, Brute, will be available in print and e-versions on December 3! I think it would make an excellent holiday gift for your m/m fantasy-loving friends (or yourself!). You can preorder from Dreamspinner Press here.

Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.

Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths—dreams that come true.

As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ana Bosch on Love

Today I'm very pleased to welcome a guest: the lovely Ana Bosch. I had the pleasure of meeting her last month, and she is not only an extremely talented writer and artist, but also a really nice person. I may be slightly jealous. ;-)

Love Shouldn't Have to Cure All

Ana Bosch

To me, one of the least romantic notions in the romance genre is the idea that love cures all. This is the idea that all you have to do is love someone, and perhaps pull a few strings to trigger some sort of revelation, and your target will somehow become prime dating (or marriage) material in the span of 60,000 words.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a fan of that trope. My problem with it isn't the fact that it's unrealistic. (If I cared that much about realism, I wouldn't be writing a series of novels about the undead.) Rather, my problem with "love cures all" is that it sucks all the spice out of formerly interesting characters, leaving behind homogenized mush. It's the perfect recipe if what you want at the end of a story is a cookie cutter Prince Charming, but sometimes a beast is more fun than a Prince Charming.

Some might think I'm unromantic for hating the idea that love cures all. For a while, I really believed that my disregard for all these romance rules made me as "cold" as my ex claimed I was when I refused to pay for his Viagra after two dates. But the more time I spent toiling over my bubbling cauldron of flawed characters, the more I came to understand why I like writing such characters, and why I hate the idea that love cures all.

The bottom line: love isn't just for perfect people. I don't think people need to be cured in order have love in their lives. And as much as I consider myself a realist—maybe even a cynic—when it comes to my own love life, perhaps it's the idealistic, romantic part of me that believes that even someone as flawed and backward as the rest of us is still worthy of being loved. Perhaps for every person, there's someone out there who knows how to challenge them to be better, without taking the reins from their hands.

When I began work on Art of Death and its sequel, Bonds of Death, I intentionally started with two characters that I thought had no business being in a relationship, and I decided that while both would grow, neither would ever be "fixed." Riley is stubborn, independent, secretive, and at times uncooperative. Westwood, an undead, has all the rough edges that come with being stripped of one's humanity. He was once a violent monster and is only partially reformed. Neither one of them is comfortable with the level of trust that's required in a romantic relationship.

I certainly wouldn't want to date either of them. But I never judge—or write—a character based on whether I'd get along with them in real life. And I know that even though Riley and Westwood are two messed-up individuals, they're right for each other. Westwood will never feel comfortable expressing his love with words, but Riley knows that words are cheap, and there's more honesty to be found in whatever is left unsaid. Riley fears intimacy and would more readily risk his life than his heart, but Westwood is grudgingly patient enough to help guard Riley’s life until his heart is ready to open on its own. Over time, they both learn how to challenge each other and navigate the resulting twists and turns.

Bonds of Death was released last month. With one more book in the works, these two characters will face some of their greatest shortcomings and grow as a result. But Riley and Westwood will always be Riley and Westwood. You can't turn a steaming cauldron of flaws into a cookie cutter Prince Charming, no matter how much you tweak the recipe. And really, why would you want to? A Prince Charming cookie will only give you cavities, but pop a few antacid pills, and a spicy bowl of Flaw Soup will keep you warm through all of winter.



Blurb: Bonds of Death


Sequel to Art of Death

Fresh out of a messy breakup, starving artist Riley Burke has found happiness with Westwood, his new undead lover—enough happiness that when his friend Porter warns him that the undead only see humans as flashy playthings, Riley looks the other way. After all, he only wants a bit of fun. It's not like he's asking Westwood to put a ring on his finger.

Once a brutal and violent criminal, Westwood now atones for his past by punishing the undead for crimes against humans. But his job doesn't make him popular with his undead brethren—and someone has a thirst for revenge.

That someone has uncovered Westwood’s weakness and is on the hunt. To withstand an attack, Westwood must bolster his strength by taking on a human worshipper. He turns to Riley, but Riley is terrified of the bond Westwood's ritual will create. He would rather risk his life pursuing Westwood's attacker than risk opening his soul to a man who doesn't respect him. But time is running out, and if Riley and Westwood can't come together, one of them might pay the ultimate price.

Monday, November 12, 2012

My long weekend

I spent a lovely weekend in Sausalito with friends. We relaxed, we ate, we shopped. I reviewed the galley proofs for Brute. Here's the view I had as I was sitting in a cafe with the galleys:
Yeah, well, that's hard to beat, isn't it? I've traveled a fair amount, but I believe that San Francisco is one of the world's most beautiful cities.

This was the view from down the street. The gull reminded me of the cover of Flux. Which is a photo I took in San Francisco, actually.

In fact, I took the Flux cover photo just a few yards from the restaurant where we had this for dessert on Saturday. Key lime flavor. Possibly the most fun dessert I've ever eaten. The waiter informed us that it's made from organic sugar, which, he said, is important because the body tastes organic sugar differently than the regular stuff. I'm skeptical. But where else in the world could you take a ferry to lunch, eat clay pot chicken as your main course, then eat organic key lime cotton candy for dessert? All with a view.  I think every meal we ate over the weekend had a water view, and 2 restaurants were on piers over the water.

And this is what my older daughter and her friend did to their hair today. While they were doing that, I was sitting in the nearby Starbucks with younger daughter, and I was finishing those galleys. Now back to NaNo!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Brute blurb

My NaNoing is going very well--I just passed 31k last night.  I've been trying to get ahead because today I'm off for a mental health weekend with some friends. I often hit a sort of slump in a novel at about this point, but that hasn't happened yet with this one. Chris and Dylan are keeping me so busy, I'm even dreaming about the story!

In other news, it looks like I'll have an early December release date for my newest novel, Brute. I'm really excited about this one. I think it would make an excellent holiday gift for everyone you know. *g* Here's the blurb:
Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.
Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths—dreams that come true.
As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own.

I just got the galley proofs last night, which means that in addition to everything else I have going on, I need to quickly read over 90k words for typos and other minor minstakes. Paul Richmond is doing the cover art and it looks fantastic.

I am also very pleased to announced that I signed a contract with Dreamspinner for a novella this week. Night Shift will come out in April or May.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Feeling strongly about the election

Now that the election is over and we can take a few deep breaths, I thought you might enjoy this note my younger daughter (AKA the Melodrama Queen) left on my pillow a couple weeks ago. I've erased her name to protect the not-so-innocent.
The back of the page lists her favorite foods, states that in case of her death we should save her favorite stuffed animal "for future kids", and says we should tell her friends and teachers she loves them.


We had a talk about appropriate forms of political dissent, my daughter and I. And needless to say, she was thrilled with the outcome yesterday.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vote! :-)

The cover for my novella Speechless has made it to Round 6 of the Rainbow Awards cover contest. Only 25 covers left and so many of them are gorgeous! I think I've mentioned it before, but the fabulously talented Anne Cain did the Speechless cover.
Please vote here: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1777947.html

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Thanks to Random.org we have a winner! Congratulations to warpedminded for winning the e-cop-y of Good Bones, and thank you to all of you who entered.

NaNo is going well so far. I'm over 7000 words into the Good Bones sequel.

Here's what Halloween looked like at my house. Can you identify which character my younger daughter is portraying so frighteningly?