Tag Archives: Personal 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

Memorial Day Musings and Book Reviews

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Hello All!

This week has been one of those weeks. With the holiday and the humidity here (the air is like fishy soup along the lake) I’ve been moving sloooowly. I am, in fact, writing this blog today to continue to procrastinate rather than getting to writing for the day.

Procrastination is an art form. Don’t let anyone talk you out of that fact.

I’ve been to the beach three times in the last four days, and while I won’t call that procrastination, so much as salvation in this heat (my apartment has no air conditioning because…actually I can’t think of a valid reason for that…money. Yeah, it’s expensive to run an air conditioner…that’s actually a good reason…) it hasn’t improved my word counts any.

 

In the last week I’ve finished a few fun books, and while I can’t quite bring myself to do full write ups of them, I’ll talk about them briefly.

NEW RELEASE!

Bink Cummings His Boy

For years, I lived with him as roommates. Then, one fateful night, things changed. We became more. So much more. The sex was out of this world. Being his boy was the highlight of my day. Until feelings started to creep in and sex wasn’t enough for me. Afraid of losing him, I kept quiet and hoped for a miracle… Could my Daddy love me, too? Or would I continue to be his boy… his play toy?

Warning: Contains shameless adult sexual M/M content, romance, adult language, taboo elements including those of consensual Daddy/Boy (non-incest) relationships, and whatever else that makes it unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18.

Long 39K Standalone Steamy Novella

Read the Sample Here.

 

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Thoughts:

At first I was leery of this read because it started out with a breaking the fourth wall direct narrative to the reader that felt a little bit like the opening to Red Shoe Diaries (AGE TEST!) but, at some point it transferred into a mostly regular narrative with switching points of view.

There is Daddy Kink galore in this book, though nothing truly hardcore. I think, maybe this is more Daddy Kink light? Either way, I enjoyed it and was pleasantly surprised when what I thought was mostly going to be a spank book also had a story line.

Overall, I would recommend picking this up for a very light, fast, sexy read.

 

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Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest.

Being related to a supervillain isn’t a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes – that’s just a family tradition.

Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It’s a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy.

When Pat’s mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her… and all of Pat’s secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick’s feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?

“Love for the Cold-Blooded” is a light-hearted jaunt through a world of superheroes and villains, android dolphins, mind control rays, eldritch artifacts stolen from the tombs of ancient gods, and young men loving not wisely, but well.

Length: 135,000 words

Read the Sampe Here.

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Thoughts:

  1. I was excited to see a fantastically well written, well plotted, and well put together Indie book. As far as I can figure this book was constructed entirely by Alex Gabriel and his team, who are German if my snooping through the book details is accurate. Good on you, Alex. Great job!
  2. This book is hilarious.
  3. The title cracks me up every time I look at it.
  4. There are not enough superhero books in the m/m genre.
  5. This book does a wonderful job at hitting all those quirky, fun things from the 1970’s superhero television shoes. The “sluts” will make you laugh and if they don’t? Well, you don’t have a sense of humor.
  6. There was a wonderful plot and an amazing amount of world construction in this book. It’s done so seamlessly you probably won’t realize it until you put it down, if you ever do, and that takes talent.

This book was great. If you like super heroes and comics you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day in the states and gets a chance to do some reading today!

 

 

Paranaturalist[The]_headerbannerThe Paranaturalist is now available for Pre-Order on the Dreamspinner Press website. Release date June, 27th 2016.

As a kid, Joseph Appleyard saw things hidden from others. Now he is The Paranaturalist, an investigator and cohost of a television show that seeks to prove the existence of the paranormal. Some think Joe is crazy, but they don’t realize he knows firsthand there’s more to the world than what most perceive. The trouble is, somewhere along the way, Joe lost his vision and it left his world flat and dull. One night an investigation goes horribly wrong, and a powerful ghostly manifestation sends Joe tumbling into a river. Spirit worker Owen Watson saves Joe’s life, and once they are back on dry land, whatever has been blocking Joe’s vision has been washed away.

When a haunting goes from annoying to dangerous, people turn to Owen Watson. He hates those infuriating hacks from TV, but when he pulls Joe from the river, his mind begins to change. Joe is scared and confused, and, Owen realizes, he might just be the real thing. Together, they work to understand the part of Joe that has been shut away for so long. But just as Joe is acclimating to his abilities, his career as a paranormal investigator is in danger of being ripped away. Owen would gladly battle a bloodthirsty spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.

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The World of Candy: Maple Creams

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I love candy. It’s been a lifelong obsession. I used to work in an ice cream shop in high school and my Grandmother lovingly slaved over cookies and candies every year from October through December so she could inundate the family and all of her friends (and beyond) with holiday delights. She would make gobs, chocolate chips, Hershey kiss cookies, peanut butter cup cookies, gems, ginger snaps, fluff cookies, and easily a hundred others, all rotating each year on her whim. I, of course, was her helper. I helped her make wedding cakes as well.

I think one of my favorite things out of everything she ever made were buckeye balls, which aren’t hard to make and maple creams. I found maple creams, which I think would be a close approximation to Grandma’s, though I would definately take the time to coat them in dark chocolate.

A good maple cream should be an overwhelming, full body experience. You should bite into it and it should almost be too sweet. Your stomach should clench just a little and the cream should melt onto your tongue. You should get a zing from the plume of maple sugars, and then after the sugary punch fades you should get the rich, deep almost floral wave of maple in your palette. In this case if there is chocolate, it should be as dark and unsweetened as possible. Really, the chocolate tempers the harsh sweetness of the cream. With the recipe I’ve selected, I would definitely take the time to melt down some dark chocolate and coat them.

Candy always makes me think about childhood and Grandma.

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Follow Your Heart: The Writer’s Dilemma

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The Shape of Honey is incredibly special to me as a project because unlike Threefold Love, my first book, I actually started writing it with intentions of turning it into a full length, sellable novel. For me that was huge. I started thinking of myself as a writer–a person who writes. (Not an author…I can’t wrap my head around the idea of what authoring looks like, but I do sit down at my laptop or notebook and write every day.) I’d tinkered with writing for a long while before Threefold Love, but now I was being serious. In doing so I found out a lot about what I was willing to do to make a book happen. I started having dedicated writing times/days and really buckled down. During this personal revitalization process I actually lost an extremely close friend. A person who I was close to couldn’t take me reallocating some of my time and attention.

I think that actually colored some of the work that I did in the book, making it a bit darker than it might have been otherwise. I felt stronger after I lost that friend though because I realized that someone who doesn’t support your life goals isn’t really your friend, and it made me appreciate the ones who stuck around that much more. The people who really love you don’t judge you for having dreams, or berate you or belittle you if they see you’re spending time on something that makes you happy. Instead, they lift you up, laugh with you, and want to hear all about it.
Have any of you ever lost something important to follow your heart?


Check out The Shape of Honey!

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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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