Love is Love: Valentine’s Blog Hop

love is love

Welcome to my stop on the Love is Love LGBT Valentine’s Day hop! All the information about the prizes and other stops is below.

But for my stop, I wanted to share a little snippet from Winning Bracket. I believe fundamentally that all people are worthy of that happy ending, no matter who they are. And everyone deserves that one person who accepts them as the person they most want to be. That’s the key–that love finds the people who see us the way we want to be seen.

It’s why I write love stories for characters who are “imperfect” physically (Xander in Resilient Heart has injuries resulting from his military service, Vic my hero in Baked Fresh has recently lost 100 pounds and struggles with body image). And it’s why I try to incorporate a lot of diverse backgrounds for my characters. This snippet from Winning Bracket has Ollie finally unleashing all his feelings about the assumptions people make about Asian men:

winning bracket web“I like to kiss, but that doesn’t mean I’m a butt-slut. I love making out. Love grinding. Really like oral, especially if someone’s into giving it back.”

“But you’re not curious about… the other?”

“Not exactly.” Ollie sighed. He’d never tried to put this in words before. “Most guys don’t ask. They’re happy to get off however. And the guys who do ask… it’s like…”


Hell. Edwin was prying him open and examining all the weak parts Ollie tried to keep hidden away, and yet his mouth just kept right on moving. “The guys who do want anal, they always, always assume I’ll bottom. ‘Oh Ollie, you’re so cute and fun! Your ass would feel so good on my dick.’ Or ‘Oh Ollie, you’re the cutest little gayasian I know. I know you want it.’ Cute, cute, fucking cute. No one ever even asks if I want to bottom.”

“And you don’t?” Edwin tilted his head, still studying him. Oh sweet hell, if even Edwin couldn’t grasp this …

“That’s not the point.” His pulse raced, face heating as his blood roiled like an overloaded pasta pot—sputtering and spewing ill-humor. “It’s like in porn. You know. Like how the Asian dude is always the one bottoming. Always. And the one sucking. It’s like the whole world just assumes Asian equals born bottom.”

Edwin was silent for a long moment, then he slowly nodded. “Maybe you’ve been looking in the wrong places.”

And that’s the key right? Love is finding the person you’ve been looking for who SEES you. You can can find Winning Bracket at these fine retailers:
Add to Goodreads Buy on AmazonBuy on ARe    
And you find more about the blog hop and prizes here:

Prizes and Sponsors:

The prize is a basic Kindle ereader and 42 ebooks! Rafflecopter link below!

Hop sponsors:

A.J. Marcus, Aidee Ladnier, Alexa Milne, Amanda Young, Annabeth Albert, Anne Barwell, April Kelley, Brandon Shire, Bronwyn Heeley, C. J. Anthony, Catherine Lievens, Cecil Wilde, Charlie Cochrane, Christopher Koehler, David Connor, DP Denman, Draven St. James, Elin Gregory, Elizabeth Noble, Ethan Stone, Eva Lefoy, H.B. Pattskyn, Hayley B James, J.M. Dabney, Jennifer Wright, Jessie G, Julie Lynn Hayes, Karen Stivali, Kazy Reed, Kendall McKenna, L M Somerton, Lily G Blunt, Lisabet Sarai, Lynley Wayne, M.A. Church, Megan Linden, Morticia Knight, N.J. Nielsen, Neil Plakcy, Sibley Jackson, Stephen del Mar, Sue Brown, Tali Spencer, Tara Lain, Thianna Durston, TM Smith, Tracey Michael

Ebook Prizes:

Aidee Ladnier The Break-in
Amanda Young Winner chooses from author’s available titles
Bronwyn Heeley Winner chooses from author’s available titles
C. J. Anthony Heaven
Charlie Cochrane Something from my back list – winner’s choice.
David Connor Tidings of Comfort and Joey Down Under
DP Denman Winner chooses from author’s available titles
Elin Gregory Alike As Two Bees
Ethan Stone Winner chooses from author’s available titles
Eva Lefoy Love is a Mess anthology
H.B. Pattskyn Hanging by the Moment
J.M. Dabney When All Else Fails
Jessie G The Protector
Julie Lynn Hayes When Will I See You Again
Lisabet Sarai Necessary Madness
Lynley Wayne Winner chooses from author’s available titles
M.A. Church The Harvest series (book #1 and book #2)
Morticia knight All Fired Up (Sin City Uniforms 1)
N.J. Nielsen Winner chooses from author’s available titles
Sibley Jackson Private Performance
Sue Brown The Next Call
Tali Spencer Dangerous Beauty
Tara Lain Canning the Center
Thianna Durston The Blake/Dusty Chronicles: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Alexa Milne Rainbow Connection (due out 13th Feb) or Sporting Chance.
Anne Barwell Winner chooses from author’s available titles
April Kelley Whispers of Home
Brandon Shire The Love of Wicked Men – Episode One
Catherine Lievens Jamie
Cecil Wilde Defying Convention
Christopher Koehler Poz
Draven St. James Scent of a Wolf
Elizabeth Noble Winner chooses from author’s available titles
Hayley B James Undercover Addiction
Jennifer Wright All 3 Finding Home Series books – Pavarus, Morvea, & Airos
Karen Stivali Moment of Impact
Kendall McKenna 1) Strength of the Pack 2)Waves Break My Fall
L M Somerton Rasputin’s Kiss
Lily G Blunt Paint the Sky
Megan Linden Running Off the Edge
Stephen del Mar Dark Love
TM Smith Opposites
Tracey Michael Pretty Please

Hop sites:

A.J. Marcus
Aidee Ladnier
Alexa Milne
Amanda Young
Annabeth Albert
Anne Barwell
April Kelley
Brandon Shire
Bronwyn Heeley
C. J. Anthony
Catherine Lievens
Cecil Wilde
Charlie Cochrane
Christopher Koehler
David Connor
DP Denman
Draven St. James
Elin Gregory
Elizabeth Noble
Ethan Stone
Eva Lefoy
H.B. Pattskyn
Hayley B James
J.M. Dabney
Jennifer Wright
Jessie G
Julie Lynn Hayes
Karen Stivali
Kazy Reed
Kendall McKenna
L M Somerton
Lily G Blunt
Lisabet Sarai
Lynley Wayne
M.A. Church
Megan Linden
Morticia knight
N.J. Nielsen
Neil Plakcy
Sibley Jackson
Stephen del Mar
Sue Brown
Tali Spencer
Tara Lain
Thianna Durston
TM Smith
Tracey Michael


The rafflecopter giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release day for Resilient Heart!

resilient heart love saves

It’s release day for my re-release of my military m/m story Resilient Heart with BRAND-NEW bonus short story! The short story features Xander coming out to his family, something many of you asked for! It’s only 99 cents for a limited time! If you read the original and enjoyed, I’d love it if you wanted to leave a review–even a few words can make a HUGE difference. Here’s the buy links:
Buy links:
All Romance:…
Barnes & Noble:

WINNING BRACKET is out now! 99 cents for a limited time!

Winning Bracket--Edwin Problem 99 cents FIXED

It’s release day for my m/m college-set story WINNING BRACKET with brand-new bonus short story included! 99 cents this week only! Stats nerd and party boy—frenemies to lovers.


SERVED HOT is up on Netgalley!

ZOMG! Squee!! Quick update to let reviewers know that SERVED HOT, my coffee-themed M/M romance is up on Netgalley for request right now. Click here to request! 

Served Hot.ebook

COVER REVEAL: Resilient Heart

Xander and Mackey are coming back January 27th! With this hot new cover & a brand new short-story/epilogue featuring a visit from Xander’s family. If you’d like to request a review ARC, you can do so here. 


All I want for Christmas–Scorching Reviews Blog Hop


workingdoccfe copy

Scorching Book reviews wants to know what book related thing we’d like for Christmas–be sure to check out the variety of things other authors are asking for in the link at the bottom of the post.

I submitted #ChristmasCamper to my agent a few weeks ago and jokingly told her that all I want for Christmas is a book deal in the new year, but I’ll set aside my rather self-serving wants for now.

Instead, I want to focus on what I want for christmas as a reader. Of course, first and foremost I want Hermoine’s magic clock so that I can read twice as much. But what stories do I want to see more of in 2015?

  • More characters of differing ability levels. I can’t wait for Heidi Cullinan’s Carry the Ocean with its hero who is on the autism spectrum, and I hope it leads to a trend towards more books with differently abled heroes and heroines.
  • More diversity–this is the buzz word on everyone’s lips right now with the #weneeddiversebooks meme gaining significant traction in social media. I want to see readers buying these books. Talking about them. Sharing them with friends. And specifically I want to see some under-represented areas–more Asian heroes, particularly alpha-ish ones, more Native American characters , and more characters who take us to unusual places like the Pacific Islands and Mongolia.
  • More life-altering relationships including BDSM. KA Mitchell’s Bad Behavior sparked a desire in me for more books like that where the sex is a transformative force in the character’s life. I hope she keeps writing in the Bad in Baltimore universe, and I’d love to see other books along those lines. Beach and Tai’s journey has me hungry for more well-done D/s.
  • More may/december. With all the buzz and focus on new adult recently, I’ve been seeing fewer age difference romances and that’s a darn shame. It’s probably my favorite trope and I hope it’s not one that’s dying off.
  • More American Historical–Regency is still going strong and there’s a recent upswing in turn-of-the-century romances and some WWI and WWII romances, but I dearly miss American historicals, and would love 2015 to be the year the pioneer love stories return. Really want to make my year? Someone write me a m/m 1800s America set story. Lisa Henry’s Sweetwater showed it’s possible, but I’m greedy and want lots more like this. I’d read the heck out of a sexy, well-done pioneer series either m/f or m/m.
  • More sports romances beyond Baseball and Hockey. No offense to those sports, but can someone PLEASE write me a basketball romance series? Keira Andrews and Leta Blake’s figure skater books whetted my appetite for more winter sports, and I’d love to see more unusual sports getting some attention.
  • More holiday stories beyond Christmas. I adore Dev Bentham’s Jewish Holiday series and really liked Astrid Amara’s hanukkah story, Sweet & Sour. I’d love to see more holidays and cultures getting celebrated. Fourth of July, New Year’s, and Halloween and other secular holidays also need some love stories!
  • More comedy! There’s a definite trend towards darker books and more angst and as a reader, I love the angst but I’m also missing the madcap romantic comedies and zany opposites-attract stories from a few years ago.

What do you want to see more of in 2015? Know any books that fit my request list that I should add to my TBR pile? Planning to write any like that? I’ll cheer you on! Share in the comments!


Guess what? Campus Cravings is being retired on January 1st (last chance to get all the stories as one low-priced bundle!), and I am re-releasing WINNING BRACKET as a stand-alone story complete with BRAND NEW bonus epilogue story. WINNING BRACKET & the bonus story WINNING WEDDING will be out January 13th at all major retailers. It will be 99 cents for ONE WEEK ONLY, and then 2.99 after that.  If you are a reviewer and would like to request an ARC, click here! Here’s my gorgeous cover from Dar Albert & Wicked Smart Designs:


My Head May Explode in 2015 (and other good news!)

My 2015 is starting to look a little crazy. The good kind of crazy. First, #PortlandHeat launches in the Spring.

 BakedFreshDeliveredFast2 Served Hot.ebook


Served Hot is coming 3/3/2015. I love this cover almost as much as I love this book. I can’t wait to kick this series off.  Baked Fresh arrives 4/14/2015. This baker-with-a-heart-of-gold story is a friends-to-lovers tale, and I know I shouldn’t play favorites, but this couple… Delivered Fast is coming on 5/26/2015. I don’t want to say”wrapping up the series” because I’m really hoping to sell a book 4 at some point! (And each book totally stands alone. I have very minimal interaction between the different sets of heroes. They can be read in any order!)

In August, TREBLE MAKER is coming your way. My a cappella singing reality show LONG book otherwise known as #kinkyvirginhero finally found a title and a home with Kensington!

Also coming in 2015: My shorts from the Campus Cravings and Unconditional Surrender bundles will be released on their own with bonus epilogues. I already commissioned covers for them and I’m excited to share once I have a better idea of the release dates.

And if it finds a home, #ChristmasCamper may come out in late 2015 to cap off the year. It’ll be going out on submission soon, so fingers crossed!









Sex Positivity Blog Hop: In Praise of Imperfect Sex

spbhbadge (2)  I’m so glad to be a part of the Sex Positivity Blog hop! I’ve had a good time catching up on the other posts in the hop, and there’s a lot of great discussion happening!

I was doing some re-reading of my keeper shelf books recently, and I realized something: almost all of my keeper shelf books have at least one awkward, imperfect sex scene where things don’t go according to plan. I guess you could say I’m a connoisseur of awkward smut 🙂

There’s a lot of societal pressure for sex to be perfect, especially first time sex. Songs, movies, a lot of books, and even porn make it seem like if you’re with the right person, the heavens will open up and sing every time. In Hollywood romance-land, things never go badly. But real life is full of awkward fumblings and stubbed toes and uncooperative zippers and inopportune interruptions.

Sometimes too, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if we can’t get it “right,” that sex isn’t worth having–if we aren’t perfectly showered and groomed, if the house isn’t quiet with mood music playing and candles lit, if both people aren’t perfectly rested and hurdling towards simultaneous orgasms, we might as well wait for the perfect moment.  In other words, if we can’t be having Hollywood style ideal sex, why bother?

And this is where my keeper shelf of awkward smut comes in. I celebrate the writers who keep it real and who remind us that sometimes fabulous sex has a very shaky start. Sometimes you meet “the one” and the first time isn’t all that. Sometimes people are tired or in bad moods or sick with the flu. Real life is full of ringing phones and waking babies and setting off car alarms by accident. Sex is full of funny, squicky, cringe-worthy, beautiful moments. And what I love is fiction that reflects that and indeed, celebrates it.  Life is short and we should seize joy wherever we can–even when it comes in a less-ideal-package, there is still beauty and purpose and meaning to be found.

Some of my favorite novels with endearingly written imperfect sex include Cara McKenna’s Ruin Me and her Unbound (pretty much everything she’s written could be on this list too. She’s the reigning queen of awkward smut. ) Heidi Cullinan’s Dance with Me is the perfect example of practice makes perfect and how what’s right for one couple can take some time to figure out. AM Arthur’s Stand By You is also full of this message as her two heroes figure what works for them. Lisa Henry and JA Rock’s Brandon Mills vs. The V-Card has the best, most realistic first-time scene ever. Daisy Harris’s David’s Selfie manages to make the flu downright sexy.

What are some of your favorite awkward sex scenes or scenes where things go haywire? Do you like realistic love scenes or do you prefer more idealized escapism? And that has its place too! I have a whole different part of the keeper shelf devoted to earth-shaking, transcendental love scenes. And sometimes the perfect book has BOTH. Sometimes even in the same scene! If you’re a writer, which do you enjoy writing more?

Remember to check out the rest of the hop!

#NaNoWriMo Tips: How I Write 50K in a Month

Over the course of 2014, I’ve written 50K in a month more than once, but this comes after a decade of trying and usually failing to do #NaNoWriMo and I thought it might be helpful if I used my experience to talk about why I failed to meet my goals in the past, and what I’m doing differently these days.  I’m going to share  what works for me, but remember, each person is different and your path to success may look very different. FIND YOUR PROCESS AND ROCK THE HECK OUT OF IT.

  1. Set High Daily Word Count Goals. For years, I did the whole “Divide 50k by 30 days” thing every November. And every Thanksgiving, I found myself way behind and giving up on the whole enterprise. These days, I set a weekly goal of 10k (October had 5 weeks! Bonus words!), but more importantly, I set a daily goal of 3k. That sounds like a lot, but as long as I hit that goal four days a week, I stay ahead of my weekly goal. This is important because life has a way of mucking up word count goals–writing as much as you can on quiet days gives you a cushion for the crazy days when you get 250 words and call it a success.
  2. Write Every Day.  Those 250 word days? They’re essential to the process of keeping the creative channel flowing. I keep a notebook with me at all times–half a scene scribbled while my kid is at swimming practice or in the car while my husband drives is still forward progress. On crazy days, the only words I might get is the rough outline of a scene before I fall asleep, but those words can set me up for a big word count day the next morning.
  3. Make words your priority. Get the document open before you do anything else with your day. Try to knock that first 500 words out of the way before your coffee, before checking social media or email. The first 1,000 words of the day are ALWAYS the hardest. Always. Get them done early and the rest of the words will come that much easier.
  4. Sprint. Do #1k1hr or Write or Die or one of the Sprint Groups on Facebook or simply just push yourself against the clock. If you only have 15 minutes, challenge yourself to 15 minutes. Don’t wait for a 1 hour block if that’s not how your life works. The key is to get the words down without stopping to edit or second-guess yourself.
  5. Plot and keep plotting. This is particular to me, but every hour I spend plotting saves me weeks of struggle. It took me years to find a plotting method that works for me, so don’t give up if you want to plot but haven’t found your method yet. Re-access your plot constantly. Always know what your next scene will be before you fall asleep for the day. If writing out of order works for you, try that. It doesn’t work for me, so I always have to stay on top of what comes next. The key is to not lose momentum.
  6. Reward yourself daily, weekly, and monthly. You need to be proud of what you accomplish, even when you fall short of big goals. If you meet a smaller goal, celebrate that. Give yourself little rewards like a new book, extra reading time, permission to watch a movie, painted nails, a fancy coffee, or whatever works for you.
  7. Decide what you can sacrifice & do it.  You can’t do it all. I made this mistake many a November. It’s really, really hard to slide 1-3k words in on top of everything else you have going on in your life. For myself, I’ve almost completely given up TV, news reading, and my knitting time is limited to car trips and waiting rooms. For someone else, maybe social media is the thing that needs to go or maybe you can eat out less, rely more on packaged meals, give up your morning paper–whatever trade-offs are realistic for YOU.
  8. Don’t skimp on self-care. You want to be able to do this more than once right? You want to not burn out! Don’t sacrifice sleep, regular meals, healthy choices, or exercise. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Re-arrange your life as needed, but make it long-term sustainable changes and don’t sacrifice your well-being.
  9. When you get stuck, keep going, but change it up.  You WILL hit a wall where the words don’t seem to want to come. It’s your designated writing time, but the muse seems to be on vacation. You MUST push through this lull even if you only manage 100 words in an hour. Some of my rut busters: Take a shower or a long bath, brainstorming in the water. Go for a walk, focusing on the plot problem. Move your laptop to a different room in the house. Go to a coffee house. Talk the problem out with a friend. Free write by hand. Re-read what you recently wrote. Keep your focus on writing, but don’t be afraid to try new things. BONUS TIP: Have a theme song or signature image for your story. When you get stuck, play the theme song, look at the images you’ve collected. See if that helps.
  10. Find your zone & set out to duplicate it.  Spend a few minutes thinking about the days when you have gotten the most words ever. What was happening? Were you listening to music? What kind? Did you have a plot? Were you writing sexy/scary/angsty/funny scenes? What did you eat that day? Where were you? What time of day was it? Figure out what makes YOU tick. If you write the most per hour late at night in bed while drinking hot chocolate and writing smutty scenes and listening to 80s music, embrace that. Don’t try to force yourself to write first thing in the morning if that’s not your peak time. Instead, figure out how to get more of the good stuff in your life. Take a nap so you can stay up later, or if your peak time is early in the morning, go to bed earlier. And really think about what can happen in your story to make you love writing it more. If you hate writing long descriptive passages, DON’T WRITE THEM. Worry about adding more description in your edits. If you love writing love scenes, ADD MORE LOVE SCENES. You can always cut some later, but write the story YOU WANT and the words WILL come.

This is what works for me. What works for YOU? Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck and lots of WORDS!