Category Archives: The Writing Trenches

Happy Midsummer!

When I originally started writing this blog, I decided I didn’t want to get “too personal” on it for the fear that I would put people off my writing (aka HURT SALES), but I decided that about six years ago, back when I was young and naïve and didn’t really think about the fact that writing by its very nature invites people deep within your psyche.

So, there’s that. I thought I could write and write and pour things out from my heart and no one would ever connect those stories with “the real me” in quite the same way as a blog where I actually talk about my life in real terms.

I don’t always have a smart.

Anyway, I was raised by a staunch Protestant woman, a Methodist to be exact, to the age of twelve (which is significant to me in a lot of ways), and then basically turned out into the world. Around that same time that the woman who raised me deemed me to be an adult, I became Pagan and dedicated myself on a learning path. Alone, one dark gray morning, shivering in my underwear on a country hillside, surrounded by candles I donned the ferocious seriousness only the very young are capable of and made wild promises to myself and the universe to find something mysterious and strange in the lost frontiers of mysticism.

I had some very unformed and vague ideas about what that might mean then. After twenty-two years on the pagan path, I’m still not always quite sure what I’m doing, but I’m very happy here.

This is the long way around for me to say that I’m Pagan, and it’s Midsummer (the Summer Solstice), and this is a holiday for me. Pagans have a lot of holidays, though we don’t come anywhere near the mind boggling amount of holy days that institutions like, say, the Roman Catholic Church technically celebrate. And the number of holidays one celebrates depends on what brand of Pagan you are as well, but nearly all pagans agree that the Summer and Winter Solstices are holy days. For me personally, I celebrate the Wheel of the Year (4 high holidays and 4 lesser holidays), as well as the Esbats (full moons) and the new moons, which don’t have a special name, as far as I know. I just like the new moon as a “reset” time for my mental energy.

Today, I’m planning to celebrate the Summer Solstice, or Midsummer, by writing an astronomical amount of words, (I’m shooting for over 10k.) and then I’m going to go to the beach. After the sun sets, I’m planning to head downtown and see the fountain illuminated in rainbow lights for Pride. Our city has been surprisingly supportive given the general conservativeness of the area that surrounds it.

So, in summary, I’m your local friendly pagan/witchywoo writer, I’m LGBTQ and I love weaving wonderful stories for you to read.

 

What am I up to writing wise?

Right now, Meg and I are working on the next Cherry Hollow books and will be plotting another big project this weekend that I am out of my mind excited for.

 

Midsummer/The Summer Solstice is for Abundance and making Wishes that will be fulfilled through hard work, hopefully by Mabon (the Autumnal Equinox). So, start wishing and working, and we’ll get there together.

 

Happy reading, friends, and happy holidays, whichever ones you choose to celebrate! Life is about the choices we make, so pick wisely and cheerfully.

 

Ki


 

Luke Teaser1

 

Welcome to Cherry Hollow…. Home of the Cherry Festival!

 

Book 1 (1)

Book #1 in the Cherry Hollow Series

Sheriff Trent Miller was happy with his perfect little life. Being a thirty-six-year-old omega with no partner or family suited him just fine, until it all changed. When he ran out of his heat-suppressant pills and his doctor refused to prescribe more, he had his first heat in years. Around the same time, a young alpha who drives him crazy started working as his partner.

Lawson Fisher hated Cherry Hollow. He only returned to his small hometown to help his papa when his dad was diagnosed with cancer. Working alongside Sheriff Miller was frustrating at the best of times, but when Trent went into heat, Lawson felt it was his duty to help him through it, like any good alpha. Besides, he couldn’t seem to keep his hands off Trent.

The more time Lawson spends with Trent, the more he realizes the omega isn’t as bad as he first thought. When they find out Trent’s pregnant, both their lives change. They need to decide the best thing to do for themselves and their baby, especially since not everyone in town is rooting for them to have a happily ever after.

Purchase Linksblack and white cherry

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NL89YN2

 

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07NL89YN2

 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NL89YN2

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Filed under Coming Soon, Confessions of an Editing Author, Contemporary Romance, LGBT, Personal Stories, Personal Story, Small Town, The Writing Trenches, Travel, What's Ki Doing, Writing Stories

What is Ki Working on This Week?

Hi all you readerly folks!

This week I’m working on a book for the Cherry Hollow Series that Meg and I are tentatively calling, Luke’s Omega Roomate. We’re at roughly 50 thousand words on the story, and if you’re not familiar with what that means, most romance genre novels are somewhere between 60-75 thousand words, so we’re almost done! We were hoping to get two books out in May for Cherry Hollow because we love writing the series so much, but, alas, it may not happen. Editing does take a little time. We’ll see. I’m also working on a short “missing scene” for Cherry Hollow that should be out on the Cherry Hollow website either this weekend or early next week. In the meantime, if you haven’t read the short stories there, here’s a link to the blog to catch up. They are primarily between the books snippets so far.

In other news, the audio for Brodie’s Million Dollar Omega should be going live sometime this week!

 

 

For those of you OH SO VERY PATIENTLY waiting for the next installment of the Love Me MMF mini-series: I have it mostly completed, but I’m waffling because it will mean releasing a story that is more or less a cliffhanger, and I’m thinking maybe I should wait until I have the next section done before I toss it out there. I’m not sure. I may just go for it and let people hate me. If even one person responds to just put it up, I may send it out to my editor early next week. So, YOU HAVE THE POWER, MY DEAR READERS. I’m just tired of staring at it and trying to decipher if it’s at the right spot to cut it up for this section of the story.

Love Me REAL (1)

 

I have other books in the planning stages, but these are the ones that I’m mostly working on this week. I hope everyone has a great weekend, eats lots of good food, does something they love, and takes care of themselves. (I am channeling my inner Bob Ross today.)

As always, thank you, and happy reading!

 

 

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Filed under Alpha and Omega, BDSM, Characters, Cherry Hollow, Contemporary Romance, Gay Contemporary Romance, LGBT, LGBT Romance, m/m, MMF Love Me series, MPREG, Personal Stories, The Writing Trenches, What's Ki Doing

Riley’s Forbidden Omega: Third Book in the Cherry Hollow MPREG Series

Book 3

So, today I’m doing a very satisfying thing. I’m clearing off my desk of the post it notes for the editing of Riley’s Forbidden Omega. It is what it is, as they say, and Meg and I released that baby into the wild.

I’ve been doing a lot of editing lately, maybe more editing than writing. I don’t necessarily mind it, even though sometimes I resent the time spent doing it. Editing is amazing. It makes every book sparkle and shine, and takes a good story to a great (and sometimes far more understandable) story.

I guess I’m a liar. I don’t hate editing. I love editing.

Anyway, releasing Riley’s Forbidden Omega was my weekend, and I would love to thank everyone who has picked it up so far. You’re all amazing and we rely on you to keep this series running.

Thanks again,

Ki

black and white cherry

Riley’s Forbidden Omega © Ki Brightly and Meg Bawden

Riley Sheridan has it all—loving family, college football career, and good looks. The only thing he’s missing is a relationship with the one person he can never have. As a teenager, Riley met Ambrose Whitlock precisely once and knew, without a doubt, that he wanted to be with him. The next time Riley saw Ambrose was at his alpha uncle’s wedding—as an omega groom.

Ambrose Whitlock-Harlow tried to love the husband his father arranged for him to marry, but Jacob was demanding, borderline cruel, and more focused on his political career than his young husband. Jacob leaves when, after several years, Ambrose doesn’t become pregnant.

One stormy night Ambrose’s life is turned upside down by Riley returning to town with an abandoned dog he found on the highway. Riley doesn’t know where to take the mutt, and Ambrose is well-known for his work at the local animal shelter. It doesn’t take Riley and Ambrose long to pick up the fragile relationship they started years ago.

The more time Riley and Ambrose spend together, the faster they fall in love. Not everyone approves, especially when Ambrose becomes pregnant with Riley’s child. The divorce isn’t official yet, and Jacob threatens to take away everything Riley and Ambrose built together.

This 92,000 word story is the third book in the Cherry Hollow Series.

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RZDXL91

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RZDXL91

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RZDXL91

 

black and white heart

You can also visit the website for the Cherry Hollow series for updates, extras, and cover reveals!

https://www.cherryhollowseries.com/characters

 

 

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Filed under Alpha and Omega, Book Feature, book release, Book Teaser, Cherry Hollow, Contemporary Romance, Creative Process, Gay Contemporary Romance, Gay Fantasy, gay fiction, Kindle Unlimited, LGBT, LGBT Romance, m/m, marriage, MPREG, new book, New Release, Omega, Please Review, The Writing Trenches

Love It Like You Stole It Will Be Coming to Kindle Unlimited

The publisher released Love It Like You Stole It back to me! Now I have to play the waiting game before I can release it back into the wild. Wish me luck!

 

 

Ki

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Gay Contemporary Romance, gay fiction, Gem City Grit, Kindle Unlimited, Kinky, LGBT, LGBT Romance, Love It Like You Stole It, m/m, Personal Stories, Personal Story, Projects, Rescue Love It Like You Stole It, Rimming, The Writing Trenches, Writing Stories

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

A Little Strangeness Keeps Life Interesting

payphoneYesterday I was jogging on the peninsula, which is not unusual for me. If you aren’t familiar with Erie, Pennsylvania the Presque Isle peninsula is beautiful. The running trail starts out along the bay and goes around the peninsula onto the lake Erie side. I’m not quite up to jogging the entire trail. (It’s a little over 13 miles…hahahaha…Nope.) At around 2.3 miles the ranger’s station is nestled into the trees near a pond. The station, a squat brown building that the trail loops around, also houses public restrooms. On the front of the building is one of the last remaining pay phones known to man. It should be roped off as an antique. Viewing it is a window into a mysterious past where people actually carried around pocket change.

On this day, while I’m dragging my body around the peninsula with promises of a doughnut if I can just make myself keep going another mile, I hear an odd ringing. An old fashioned ringing.

The pay phone was ringing.

It was like a scene out of The Matrix or a bad horror movie.

I stopped and spun a circle, the feeling of being watched overtaking me. (I may have an overactive imagination. I prefer that to “paranoia”.)

I almost didn’t stop, but my curiosity got the better of me. I approached the phone slowly, sweating, exhausted from my run, the ringing surreal. I stretched out my hand half expecting to have someone jump out and laugh.

Holding my breath I picked up the receiver. Who will be there? Will someone say, “Hello, Brightly.”

I pick up. No voice greets me. “Hello?” I whisper, breathless, heart pounding.

Silence.

My pulse skyrockets. Then, “Hello. This is the $$$$$$ Collections Agency. I’m looking for Enrico *last name totally slaughtered*.”

I laugh fairly obnoxiously. “This is a payphone in the middle of Presque Isle State Park.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“We’ll try again later.” (Clearly not believing me.) The person hangs up.

Points for persistence, I have to say that.

I continued on with my run, but I almost wish I hadn’t answered the phone so I could have pretended that I was in the middle of an espionage movie, starring (Insert Your Favorite Action Star HERE.)

I hope you all have a little weird in your day today, just a little something to keep things interesting.

Happy reading!

Ki

kibrightly


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 Local Color, Patreon, Presque Isle, Running, The Peninsula, The Writing Trenches

Ki Brightly’s Patreon!

patreon-logoSo, I decided to do a thing I said I would never do, which is basically put myself “out there” as me, in all my awkward, fumbling glory.

Let me break it down:

For a while I have been struggling to live off of what I make as a writer, as it is not the easiest thing to do in the world. For various reasons I have been doing my work from home with my kids, which is also not easy if you’ve ever done it. This is not a litany of complaints post (though I could likely do that), but about a million things have conspired, in various ways, to make me chronically short on cash.

So…a friend convinced me that I should start a Patreon, something where I’m not simply begging for money, but allowing people access to new or unusual “Ki Brightly” content that they may not otherwise get a chance to see.

Okay.

I literally have zero idea about what I’m going to do with this thing, but here it is. And you get to see me, if that’s something you’re interested in. Here is the link to my Patreon account.

If you haven’t been convinced that you would like to participate in my Patreon here is some of the content you might expect in the future if you were to become a Patron of my art. (I am snickering as I type that. I have no idea why my brain has decided it is so funny.) Here I am doing a partial reading of “If You Give an Incubus a Cookie”.

All right friends, and if I’m perfectly honest, I’m hoping that the enticement of a couple of bucks a month will make me more dedicated to working on my blog. I don’t know why I have so much trouble sitting down and doing the “blog” thing (other than my general lack of five minutes to sit down and think when my kids are home), but…wait…no, it’s probably the kids. (I love them, really I do.)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

Happy reading!

kibrightly


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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Feature, m/m, Patreon, Personal Stories, Supporting Other Authors, The Writing Trenches, Writing Resources, Writing Stories