Category Archives: Gay Crime Thriller

The Creative Process Isn’t All Rainbows Farted by Unicorns

balloons                I’m a positive person. I’m the type of person who truly believes nearly anything can be done, likely attributable to the steady diet of positive 90’s movies with ridiculous endings during my childhood. But…I’ve been working on the second book in the Gem City Grit universe for nearly 9 months now. That is beyond the pale. It should have taken me four months to get this book done, tops. I’m beginning to think it will never end. At least half of the reason this is dragging out so long is my fault. I like to play the blame game, but there you are. I have, as yet, to figure out a workable, reliable daily writing schedule around my Sugar Plum’s job that he started last August and my children, whom because of that delightful schedule I am nearly entirely responsible for.

                I feel like Winnie-ther-Pooh, Singing a Complaining song.

                Yes, ther Pooh.

                You know what that means.

                I spend soooo much of my day with my children and I love them.

                But I really want this book done. I’m up at 5 am again even though I know it turns me into a bear by day three. I need this book to be done.

                Tut tut, it looks like I’m starting to loathe and detest every waking moment I don’t get to work on this book because I want it to be done so badly.

                That’s actually a slight exaggeration fueled by grumpy, up too early, melodramatic thoughts. Yesterday was Sugar Plum’s birthday and my living room is scattered with balloons I blew up for his party at the kids’ insistence, and all I can think as I look at them is, “So much wasted time”. That’s how I knew I had to find time to work on this story more, even if I had to steal it from my sleep and stop doing every other single “extra” thing I do that isn’t keep up the house so that it isn’t disgusting and take care of the kids. When I start hating things like birthday parties as wasted time I know.

                The creative process is so fun sometimes!

                Tut tut, it looks like a mild anxiety attack.

                So, the agenda for today is to find at least 4 hours to write without relying on Sugar Plum to pull his weight and give it to me because that so infrequently happens, teach my eldest pre-Algebra, teach my youngest to recognize the ABC’s, and potentially throw in a science lesson somewhere. Hell, I might even start teaching state capitals today. Why not?

                But I have to get this Gem City Grit book done before my brain declares war on itself. I’m tired of thinking about it without it going anywhere and getting done. I need to be thinking about new stories, new characters. I have to be done with it.


Check out my newest book Trust Trade!

trusttradefs_v1Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.

Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.

See a sample of Trust Trade here.

Purchase Links

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

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Filed under Characters, Coming Soon, Confessions of an Editing Author, Creative Process, Gay Crime Thriller, m/m, new book, Projects, Real Life, The Writing Trenches

Hello 5 A.M.

trusttrade_headerbanner

I am sure there are people out there awake much earlier than I am this morning, but it seems the only way I am going to get Love It Like You Stole It done is to be up hours before even the most adventurous of my young family members deems reasonable. (I still feel paranoid that one of the wee ones will get up and demand cereal, even at this gawd awful hour, because if I am up surely there is something fun going on that I am hiding.)

I am starting to feel like I will never get this book done…

I know that isn’t true, but it feels true. In an attempt to keep up my spirits I am using this comic as a bookmark (Yes, I still buy the Sunday paper like the dinosaur I am.), but I really just wish I had someone to nag me away from facebook.

I need someone with a ruler to smack my fingers every time they wander toward the mousepad to take me to the joys of mindlessly flipping through memes I’ve already seen twenty times. I swear it is an addiction, sort of like flipping the channels while watching television.

I hope everyone has a productive day today!


You can pre-order Trust Trade on the Dreamspinner Press Website right now!

trusttradefs_v1

Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.

Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

To pre-order go to Dreamspinner Press.

 

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Filed under Gay Crime Thriller, gay fiction, The Writing Trenches

The Cover for Trust Trade…Revealed!

Hello Everyone!

Overall, this has been a rather fantastic week. I got to see a good friend who lives out of town, my wee imps are off to spend time with Sugar Plum’s mother (giving me valuable writing/present wrapping time), and Erie, my wonderland by the lake, is scheduled to be buried under about 2 feet of snow.

Who doesn’t love FEET of snow? (I would be a lot more excited if I had cross country ski equipment, but we can’t get everything all the time.)

My kids will be ecstatic to try to build a snowperson. I would say a “snowman”, but honestly I’m pretty sure lumps of snow aren’t gender specific, and even if we did want to get all Michelangelo with it, I have a feeling our fingers might freeze off before we got anything more than a round bottom and …well, I’ll be real…it will be a big ball with sticks jammed into it, most likely.

We shall make snow blobs and put hats on them.

I’m lazy. Sue me. But they aren’t big enough to do more than cursory snow patting while I push around the big mound of snow.  

Ah…distracted, anyway, this week is one of the best weeks ever because I finally got the COVER for Trust Trade, my newest book!

Check it out!

 

TrustTradeFS_v1.jpg

So freakin’ pretty. Thanks Bree Archer for the fabulous cover design!

 

Life hasn’t been good to Jeb Birchman. When he attempted to escape his abusive, zealot father, he found himself on the streets, making a living the only way he knew how, the victim of more violent men—one of whom orchestrates a series of vicious attacks that leave Jeb deaf. Now that he’s aged beyond his latest client’s interest, Jeb knows he needs to escape his risky lifestyle before it’s too late. Seeing one last chance for himself, he earns a GED and enrolls in college.

Freddy Williams enjoys a life that couldn’t be more different from what Jeb has survived. He loves sports, being a personal trainer, and hanging out with friends. The son of deaf parents, Freddy is an outspoken advocate of the Deaf community and works as an interpreter at his college. When he meets Jeb at the bookstore, he’s struck by how attractive he is, and as they get to know each other, he finds Jeb’s good heart just as appealing. By the time he learns of Jeb’s past, it’s only a few steps behind them, and Freddy must make a choice between school and his familiar routine and protecting the man he’s falling in love with.

While you’re waiting for the release date on January 27th, why don’t you check out some of my other books. Threefold Love is M/M/M if that’s up your ally (also was a Rainbow Award Runner Up last year in 2 categories). The Paranaturalist is …well, paranatural. I like it. If werewolves are you thing, The Shape of Honey is pretty good, though be warned, there is a female POV in that one that some people aren’t a fan of.

I can’t wait for the release date on Trust Trade because I’m currently perfecting the draft of another book in the Gem City Grit world, tentatively called Love It Like You Stole It, but I’m not entirely wedded to that title, so don’t imbed it in your memory yet. I’m also in the process of rough drafting a third book in the Gem City Grit world…so, there’s definitely more to… come.

I just laughed at myself there…I think I need a nap, or bed, or something.

Have a wonderful night!

 

kibrightly

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Filed under book release, Coming Soon, Confessions of an Editing Author, Cover Reveal, Gay Crime Thriller, gay fiction, m/m, Rainbow Awards

Tuesday Book Review: Damon Suede’s Pent Up

PentUP

(An immediate aside: Isn’t the model for this book cover delicious?)

Wow. It’s weird getting back into the reviewing groove, but I have to. I have that slightly dazed “I stayed up too fucking late reading a good book but it was so fucking awesome I had to” feeling. Book hangover, I like to call it.

The hangover.jpg

I got this one last night staying up to finish Damon Suede’s Pent Up. What can I say about this book? What can’t I say about this book? First of all, trigger warnings out the wazoo: It’s a GFY (gay for you for anyone not familiar with the parlance). It’s nice because while there’s some light angst surrounding it, it’s not some type of spiral into a pit of horrible feelings. It’s more of a “holy shit, fucking dudes isn’t half bad…Gah!” type GFY. As far as other triggers go—there is violence, bloodshed, corporate espionage type stuff, discussions of socioeconomic differences, discussions of self injury, discussions of alcoholism at its finest and what it can do to a person. What I’m really trying to say here, is that while Pent Up is a “fun” read it isn’t necessarily a totally light read. It’s not fluff, so look elsewhere for that.

My reviews sometimes venture into the realm of spoilery, so I’ll tell you my general thoughts here and then you can peace out if you don’t like to know much about a book before you read it:

This book kicked ass and took names and made me it’s bitch. It was a great read. Read it with my blessing. For real.

Let’s take a look at the blurb.

PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.

Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.

Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?

What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.

Find the sample here.

The Good:

Pent Up had real characters who were real people doing real shit. They are messed up people. Ruben is a recovering alcoholic. Andy is an adrenaline junky (in his own nerdy way) who ruins people’s lives when it suits his business needs. And they’re wonderfully terrible together in all the right ways.

There were parts of this book that had a juicy telenova feel to it, but not in a bad way that makes you roll your eyes, just in a voyeuristic way that draws you in deeper. There are so many different people you simply would love to know more about. The woman at the fund raiser who slaps Andy. The couple that go to the strip club with Ruben and Andy. Hope. You’re left wondering after these people in the best way possible because you know if you got to read their stories they would be every bit as entrancing as the one you’re reading, and you kind of want it.

The Great:

The side characters in this book made the book live. They were all such well rounded, shiny additions to the narrative. I loved Peach. I can just picture this crazy old lady dishing out wisdom with a side of cigarette smoke.

smoking.jpg

Even Ruben’s brother was great for what he was. I think maybe more could have been done with Andy’s family and step father considering how much of a plot point they were, but on the average it was good.

Plot. Plot! This book is plot driven as well as character driven. Enough said. I can’t get enough of a book with some actual, god damn plot points. Bring it, Suede. Bring it hard. Loved it.

The Fantastic:

The sex in this book was top notch. On a scale of 1-10 it was a 20. It was two real men really fucking. If there was a sound track to this sex it woudn’t be this, but rather it would be this.

The way the sex is described in this book it’s very clear there’s zest, real commitment to gritty, real life detail. And it’s amazing. It’s all the best dirty parts of sex that often get scraped aside because it’s not pretty. And it absolutely sings a fucking sex aria all over the page every time it occurs in the book.

So. Much. Good.

It almost hurts.

One scene in particular captured that new romance feeling for me. Ruben and Andy are in a limo and there’s this intense instant where Ruben is thinking about taking Andy’s hand. They’ve been flirting around each other and he wants to but he doesn’t, and he wants Andy to make the first move but at the same time he kind of wants to freak out a little and probably would if Andy took his hand…and ugh. It captures that first buzz of romantic tension absolutely perfectly.

Perfectly.

One Thing that Really Bugged Me and I mean ONE GODDAMNED THING IN THE WHOLE BOOK:

Maybe I’m just being stupid, and when you read the book you can let me know, but I found the scene in the book where Hope and Ruben are trying to figure out who has Andy after he’s been yoinked from the penthouse to be utterly confusing. I read the whole book. I didn’t skim. I never skim. I’m a reasonably intelligent person, yet I have zero idea how, based on the words on the page, that Ruben and Hope came up with the (correct) answer they did about what was going on with Andy financially. I didn’t connect the dots to make the picture ALONG with the characters.

Maybe it was just me. I’m willing to live with it if that’s the case.

 

lightbulb

Final Thoughts:

Damon Suede has become an auto buy for me after this book. Buy this book, I can’t emphasize it enough. I read Hot Head, which I didn’t review, and it was amazing. I, being a cynical bastard at times, thought maybe Hot Head was a one off, a single grand slam, and so purchased Pent Up while still riding the wave of wonder left over from Hot Head. I was fully expecting a let down. If you read a 5 star book what can keep up with it? Pent Up was worth it. I have this sneaking suspicion every book Damon Suede writes might be worth it. He writes from the gut, writes real shit, writes real emotions and people. While Damon Suedes isn’t a read for when you’re feeling fluffy, at least not in my opinion, he is a read for when you want substance.


 

Pick up my newest release, The Shape of Honey!

ShapeofHoney[The]

Available at Amazon , Dreamspinner Press, and other retailers.

Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.

Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Gay Crime Thriller, gay fiction, m/m, What I'm Reading