25 Oct 2014

GRL 2014: Part 2

If you haven't read part 1, you can find it here.

So, Friday morning. I started off the day at 6:30am with a trip to the pool. As mentioned in my last post, I'm a bit of a water baby. I could literally have spent all day in there, if not for the fact that I'd only had about 4 hours sleep. I had a lovely swim in the main pool, and then a good bit of relaxation in the hot tub before I finally managed to drag myself away from the water and back to the room to get ready for the day's events.

Breakfast once again consisted of sausage and maple syrup, along with some french toasty kinda things. I seriously just started drizzling everything in maple syrup. God, I love that stuff. But enough about me stuffing my hole with sticky sausages...

That morning I just kinda chilled out, spent some time by the fireplace and talked to people. Then it was off to the Booksellers room for another hour behind the Wilde City table. By this point I believe I had about 5-6 copies of my book left, and those didn't last long. I still can't believe I was the first person at the table to sell out. It's such an amazing feeling. While there, I picked up a copy of Red Rose (Blood) by Michael Kudo. From the first two chapters I knew this was going to be my kind of book.

I had Michael sign the book for me. I'm still a little confused as to whether he's telling me that I rock, or that I'm a cock. *sticks tongue out at Michael*

Later that day I took part in the Author Lounge, which kinda turned into a mini booksigning, though I understand that wasn't really the intention. I got sat next to Clare London with her bowl of candy, and we had readers sitting down on the other side of the table for a good natter.

I can't even remember what I did for the rest of that afternoon. Probably sat about somewhere, maybe even had a nap. I do like my naps, as the rest of my roomies will attest to. I believe this was the night a group of us went to the Shiraz restaurant. I had a lovely Tuna steak.

That evening was the Casino Royale event. I'm the type of person who gets really into gambling, and that's why I stay the fuck away from it when it involves real money. Give me five-hundred fake dollars, though, and it's a different story.

We started off with a game of poker, where at one point I ended up with about seventy dollars left in my pot. Somehow I managed to pull that back and ended up leaving the table with over three-thousand. I so wish that had been real money now. Then Amy and I decided to try out the blackjack tables. We settled with the single most awesome dealer in the history of casinos. I think he was out for a bit of fun too, given that the money wasn't real. In the end I finished the night with a little under six-thousand dollars. Yeah, totally wish that was real money. So I cashed in my chips for tickets, and I won... nothing from the raffle. D'oh! But, all in all, it was a really good night.

Rather than go to the after party, a group of us ended up playing Cards Against Humanity by the fireplace. I can honestly say I've never laughed so hard, and so much, in my entire life. There were big black cocks, vaginas so large they take you into another dimension, and queefing. Poor Whitney still can't live down the fact that her phone makes queefing noises. Well, that was her excuse anyway.

So it was another late night for a lot of us. And still, I somehow managed to get up out of bed around 6am to head to the gym, and then the pool again. Saturday morning was a lot more relaxed. As usual I started my day with a helping of sticky protein - lots and lots of sausage. Hi, my name's Daniel and I'm an addict. Then we hung out around the fireplace.

Then I headed over to the Good Cop, Bad Cop, Drunk Cop event, with the awesomesauce, SA Mcauley, SJD Peterson, and Abigail Roux. There I managed to pick up a couple of alcoholic drinks, including kinky liquor and glazed doughnut vodka. Also won a copy of Crack The Darkest Sky Wide Open.

That afternoon it was on to the book signing event. Normally I hate these kind of things because in my day-to-day life I hate being in the spotlight. But last year Abigail Roux taught me a valuable lesson; take alcohol with you! So I took my shot glasses, and someone even donated a mini bottle of baileys to my cause. So, with those in hand I made it through the three hours, and even had a lot of fun.

You can just see the top of the alcohol bottles in front of my pepsi bottle.

I even made up a little game on my laptop for someone to win a copy of Slasherazzi. It took almost the full event, but eventually the copy was won.

Then came the last major event of the week - the time travel costume party. I only stayed briefly, but it was great fun seeing everyone dressed up. I wasn't in a costume mood this year, so I went with my standard snarky t-shirt and claimed to be sent back from the future to prevent the apocalypse. I even managed to pick up a balloon friend at one point. That guy was seriously clingy and would just follow me around by sticking to my t-shirt. The official story was that he was some alien lifeform I'd picked up while travelling through the vortex. Kinda makes me sound like the thirteenth doctor, or something.

Judging by the amount of wine I was drinking in the short time I was at the costume party, my plans to prevent the apocalypse were not going well at all. Gotta say though, that Cockwalk wine was really nice. Thanks to whoever was going round handing it out.

So, as mentioned, I left the party early to go do other things, and ended up back at my room at 3am. Not surprisingly, Amy had only just returned also. I had even less sleep that night than any other, waking up at around 7am for my last swim in the pool. This was followed by the farewell breakfast. I hate this part so much, as it means saying goodbye to so many great people that I know I won't get to see for another year.

After that, it was time to pack up and head back home. After several hours stuck at Chicago airport, and then even more waiting at Heathrow to be rebooked on a new flight to Manchester, having missed the connecting flight, I finally made it back to my car. Then began the epic drive home that lasted way longer than it should have, due to my decision to stop in Leeds for some food.

Now, anyone who has been to Leeds will know that they have a one-way traffic system throughout the city centre. And it is a nightmare. I spent almost an hour just trying to find my way out of the city and back onto the motorway. This process was not helped by the fact that my phone battery had died and so I couldn't use my GPS until it had recharged a little.

I finally made it home on Monday, around 5pm UK time. And then after an hour or so, I crashed. Hard. I slept for around 15 hours.

Well, that pretty much covers my time at GRL. I'm sure there's probably loads of bits I missed out, but there was so much going on that much of it is a blur to me. All I can say is I can't wait for San Diego, and I'll be putting in plenty of overtime at work to get the money together for it. I'm going to do one last post about GRL in general in the next few days, so watch out for that. Until then...

21 Oct 2014

GRL 2014: Part 1

Wow, where do I start? This year was such a blast for me, and I think almost everyone would agree. Everything from the events, to the late night parties, to the after-after parties was amazing, and the people I shared that time with, even more so.

I guess I should start at the beginning. After a few minor delays at the airport in Chicago, namely due to one person's missing luggage, I arrived at the hotel around 16:00 on Wednesday with Clare London and Jaime Samms. I was whisked away by Lara Brukz to our hotel room, and what was definitely the most comfortable bed I've slept in for a very long time. Not that I did much sleeping, mind you, but we'll get to that later. Big thanks to Lara and the rest of the roomies - Amy DiMartino, AJ Corza, and Poppy Dennison - who didn't give me much grief for passing out in their beds during the day. You all rock.

A quick, panoramic view of the hotel room, with AJ Corza, Amy DiMartino, and Poppy Dennison.

After stuffing myself with mini Cheeseburgers and buffalo wings - and having my mouth go numb from all that spice - I traded presents with Poppy Dennison. I know she loves some of the cakes we make over here, so I had packed some Mr. Kipling's cakes and curly wurlys for her. Also took her some coffee and chicken seasoning. Yeah, chicken seasoning. Apparently it costs a lot in 'MURICA. In return, I received lots of beef jerky (I'm seriously addicted to the stuff), Twinkies, and Ding Dongs. I love my Ding Dongs. *winks* Oh, and a bottle of Jack Daniel's from Lara. I'm a big fan of JD :) Also, thank you to Carol Lynne who made a jerky contribution right before I left - those would be the Turkey Perky Jerky, which is the awesomest name ever!

Well, I do love to stuff my hole with meat, twinkies, and ding dongs :)
That night we mostly relaxed, but I did end up having a few drinks at the bar. And I really do mean just a few this time. Not like Atlanta where I think I was permanently sozzled. After a chocolate cake martini and some pink vodka drink, we ended up playing Cards Against Humanity. What a fun game! This was my first time playing, and I don't think I had ever laughed so much in my life. One of my favourite moments was when I gave AIDS to naughty children, instead of coal. I'll have to invest in a set of cards sometime soon. I'm sure it would make a lovely game to play on Christmas Eve with the family. Thanks to the guys who introduced me to this game; William Cooper, JP Barnaby, Brandon Witt, Michael Kudo, and everyone else who was there. Sorry my memory is a little fuzzy around the edges, so I'm sure I'll forget a lot of names along the way.

Awesome people, at an awesome card game.
Woke up the next morning at 6am, after tossing and turning most of the night, and went straight to the gym for a quick workout. How I managed to be so perky in the mornings, I'll never know. I try waking up at 6am when I'm at home, and I end up hitting the snooze button several times until I absolutely have to get up or risk being late to work. The first order of business was breakfast. Sausages and maple syrup! Seriously, my new favourite breakfast food. And then it was off to the swag room to lay out my pens and wrist bands. We showed up again after the doors opened to the masses, and picked up some awesome swag.

Can you tell I like pens?
Afterward, I spent some time at the Wilde City Press table in the Booksellers room. Firstly, I just wanted to say HOLY CRAP! I couldn't believe how different it was from last year. In Atlanta we had a small table in the corner of the room. It was clear to see how far the publisher has grown in just the last year, and there were some seriously great books on show. The highlight for me, though, was seeing the reaction to my latest book, Slasherazzi. It's been doing great in the reviews on Goodreads, and within the first hour all of my backstock had gone. To everyone who bought a copy, I really hope you enjoy the book, and thank you for making me a very happy soldout author by the end of Friday.
Because the table now needs two photos to fit it all in. Awesome work by the Wilde City folks.
Not sure what happened to the flash in this one.
 At lunchtime I went for a trip to Walmarts and Dick's for a pair of swimshorts. I'm a real water baby, being a Capricorn and all, so I was excited to find out about the pool. I could have swam in there for hours on end if I hadn't been tired half the time. I also picked up some more jerky, pretzel M&M's, a zero bar, and peanut butter snickers. So much candy to try!

After lunch it was an action-packed afternoon of attending events. We started with a storytellers spotlight on 'Why We Love Our Shifters', with the awesome Mary Calmes and Poppy Dennison. You guys totally rocked it.

Then it was off to my Q&A. Now, I hate being in front of large groups of people, which you'd think was odd for a former Biology teacher, but I do hate it. Particularly when you don't know everyone there, and you're going to be asked a bunch of questions you can't anticipate, it's nerve-wracking! Luckily, I managed to mostly hold back the nerves and had a bit of fun. Thanks to everyone who came up to me afterward and said I did great. That kind of encouragement really means a lot to me.

After that it was time for more food, and then the opening reception, hosted by MLR. It was announced that GRL 2015 will be in San Diego, which I'm so looking forward to. Next year, my plan is to get in a couple of days early so I can look around the city, as well as getting used to the time zone differences before the events start.

I honestly don't know how those jeans fell down...

We had free time for an hour, which I believe we spent sampling the delights of Xara Xanaxas' cake vodka. If you haven't tried this stuff yet, you totally have to. Then we headed to the Juke Joint. Wow, I can't believe how drunk I was that night. I was one of the last people there still dancing away after 1.30am. So much fun stuff happened that night, and there are plenty of photos online.

Wow. So hawt. Much dancer.

I was spanked by Ethan Day with my jeans down around my knees. Inexplicably, there's another photo of my underwear while dancing on the stage. I'm totally unsure as to how that happened. And the go-go dancers... Wow! I wouldn't mind having a few of those around the house for entertainment and... other things.

That seems to keep happening. Maybe I need a belt...
I'm going to wrap this post up now before it gets too long, so let me just say what a crazy and fun day that was. I think I've definitely come out of my shell since my first GRL in Albuquerque, 2012. Alcohol helps, of course, but even during the sober times I feel I did a much better job at interacting with people. Partly I think that's down to how welcoming and nice everyone is at GRL. It's so great to see hundreds of people coming together over their love for M/M books, and I know it's only been 2 days, but I miss everyone so much already.

That's it for post one, but I'll be back in the next couple of days with post 2. Until then, see ya.

4 Jul 2014

Humans Are Twisted

I'm sure most people would agree, if asked, that I'm a very twisted individual - in a nice way, though. I may have some very dark thoughts, but I'd never actually turn round one day and decide to brutally murder someone. Instead, I write about it.

And I've come to the conclusion lately that it's not just me.  We're all twisted in some way - it's just hidden a little deeper in some people.

When I first started writing Slasherazzi, I knew it was going to be incredibly gory. I predicted that people would come away from reading it in a state of shock and disgust. Well, I was half right. People are coming away suitably shocked by what they read, but they seem to be feeling a sort of morbid fascination also, accompanied by a subtle hint of guilt. Not so much that they feel bad for reading it, but that they enjoyed it.

Let me share a couple of review excerpts...

"I kinda feel bad for saying this but it's great!"

"...it’s weird to say but these [murder] scenes are very well written."

In my eyes, humans are emotionally-driven creatures, and when you let your emotions really take control, that's when you start to do things you never thought yourself capable of. How many times have you heard of a person going into a blind rage and committing murder, then later regretting it? How many times have you had thoughts about wanting to kill someone? Inflict major bodily harm? Probably quite often.

But we, in the vast majority of cases, don't follow through on these acts because the rational part of our brain imposes a set of moral constraints. And let's face it, much of our morality these days is constructed by society. If we were still living nude in caves, I daresay we wouldn't hesitate nearly as much to kill someone for attempting to steal some of our food.

By nature we are savage, emotional beasts, and I think that part of us will always be there... lurking somewhere in the depths of our minds. Sure it's been suppressed - tamed - but that doesn't mean it's forgotten. And I think it's that part of our brain that Slasherazzi appeals to. It's that part that can't look away when there's a trainwreck, or has to go poke a dead body with a stick.

We're all twisted. And I think we're perfect just the way we are... just as long as you don't actually go out and start killing people. That would be bad.

13 Jun 2014

Slasherazzi: Blog Tour Stop #3

The Slasherazzi blog tour is well underway, and today I've over at Joyfully Jay sharing an exclusive excerpt from the book. As always, there's more chances to win an ebook copy, so get on over there and check it out.

You can view the full post here.

12 Jun 2014

Slasherazzi: Blog Tour Stop #2

Today I'm over at MM Good Book Reviews, talking about my inspiration for Slasherazzi...

A few people have asked what made me want to write this story, so I figured that would be as good a place as any to start.
The whole idea began back in 2010. I’d recently finished writing the first Daeva book, and I was complaining on the NaNoWriMo boards about needing something to write. That was when a good friend offered me a prompt in the form of a single sentence. Her task to me was to write 1,000 words. The original sentence has been lost over time, but it was along the lines of ‘I stood above the body, clutching the knife in my hand’.

That one sentence could have gone in so many directions. Who were these two people? What motive did the man have for being there with a knife? Were they enemies, or friends?

Continue reading the post at MM Good Book Reviews, along with a short excerpt and the opportunity to gain more entries in the giveaway. Also included is a 5* review from Lisa, which does contain some minor spoilers.

11 Jun 2014

PSA: Slasherazzi on the loose!

We interrupt your regularly schedule Internet browsing to bring you this shocking story. It has been confirmed today that Tampa's newest serial killer, nicknamed the Slasherazzi, has killed yet again. This brings his current kill count to five, and there is no sign of him slowing down.

On the contrary, our inside informant reports that the killer is escalating. Analysis of the images
leaked to the press shows that the latest victim was tortured alive before being killed. And this horrifying development may only be the start of things to come.

When questioned, Captain Blake of the Tampa Police Department, refused to comment on whether or not they were getting any closer to solving these heinous murders. He did, however, state they will be doing everything in their power to track down the killer before any more innocent people fall prey.

With the killer still at large, there are major concerns over public safety. Over the next two weeks, we will be running a series of blog posts across the Internet in an attempt to arm you, the readers, with everything you need to prevent becoming the Slasherazzi's next victim.

Below you will find a schedule of the posts to come, and we will be posting links to the host sites each day from Facebook, Twitter, and this blog. Make sure you spread the word so we can get this information out to as many people as possible. Contributors to the cause will be in with the chance to win ebook copies of 'Slasherazzi'. You'll find all the details for this at the bottom of the post.

Be sure to not walk alone at night, and keep your windows and doors locked at all times. This has been Daniel A. Kaine, reporting for Wilde City News. Stay safe!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Slasherazzi:
Recently promoted to Detective, Alex is out to prove himself and the Slasherazzi case is the perfect opportunity. Mutilated corpses are showing up across Tampa, and when the team discovers the newest victim was tortured alive, Alex becomes more determined than ever to stop the crazed serial killer before the horrific stabbings escalate further.
With the return of Alex’s ex-boyfriend and journalist, Vince, the investigation takes a dangerous twist: the killer starts showing a personal interest in Alex. Can he stop the murders and salvage his relationship with Vince, or does he risk letting both men get away?

Can't wait to get stuck in? Click here to go the publisher's website.

10 Jun 2014

UK Meet 2014 - Bristol (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome back to the UK Meet write-up. If you missed part 1, you can read it here. To recap, I concluded the last post with the bookfair on the Saturday evening. We chilled out for a short while, before the next event was up. Quite a few people got dressed up for an evening meal with entertainment from a drag queen, lesbian choir, and the almost-naked waiters you've probably seen posted around Facebook over the last couple of days, whose only clothes were a black apron.

I stayed for the free champagne, of which I had more than a couple of glasses, and then moved on to a round-the-world buffet, with Poppy, Val, and Patrick Darcy. A small group of us then decided to head for some drinks at one of the local gay bars, O.M.G.

The first thing we noticed upon entering was a mechanical claw game that included some rather interesting prizes. As well as the usual stuffed bears, there were condoms, vibrators, and... Well, I'll just show you the picture. You can't miss the jackpot prize!

We were also shocked by the inclusion of a unisex toilet. Val made quite the discovery on her first visit. There was no toilet attendant at that time, and apparently a couple of guys had decided to take advantage of that by doing some very naughty things in the corner. Shame I missed it.

The night was filled with many drinks, and a lot of dancing. Marc Fleischhauer and I left the club at around five a.m. This time, I did not make it up for breakfast that morning. It was eleven a.m. by the time I ventured out into the land of the living and rejoined the conference to listen to a panel on things to beware of when signing contracts.

After that I helped out for a while at the Wilde City table selling books and talking to a few readers. We were then treated to the comedy stylings of Aleks Voinov as he gave his keynote speech, and then the closing panel, during which the attendees gave their feedback. Once more I was overwhelmed with the number of people who commented on how much they enjoyed the BDSM panel.

With the final event finished, there were many hugs and farewells as many of us prepared to leave the hotel. Some of us went home with lighter suitcases, though in Violet's case she had a much heavier load from all the books she bought.

We set off for the drive back to Liverpool, making a quick stop at a service station along the way. I slept over at Val's that night, before being driven to the train station for lunch and a final farewell this afternoon. And then it was really over. I loved every minute of it, and I'll be eagerly awaiting GRL when I can meet back up with friends, old and new.

Now, to mention some of the great people I've met who haven't yet been mentioned:

- Dani Elle Maas - It was a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to many more interactions in the future. Talk to you soon for the blog tour.

- Rachel Maybury - So nice to put a name to the face I've seen all over my Facebook feed for the last couple of months. Hope to see you again soon.

- Marc Fleischhauer - Had a lot of fun on the Saturday night, and was glad to have company for my night out. No one would stay out until 5 a.m. with me last year!

- Charlie Cochrane - Thank you for the codeine, as always. I know I can always count on you for medication.

- Liam Livings - I know we met briefly last year, but it was nice to sit down and have a good chat with you. Wishing you the best of success with your recent release, and many more to come I'm sure. You're gonna be fabulous.

- Beverley Jansen - Nice to finally meet you in person. Maybe next time you'll join us for the night out :)

And there are many others I've talked to throughout the weekend. You're not forgotten, and I hope we'll get to see each other again soon. Until then, stay safe.

Just as a quick sidenote, I wanted to do a subtle bit of self-promotion. Okay, maybe not-so-subtle then. Slasherazzi is due out tomorrow, and I'm so excited that I'm going to be visiting a number of blogs over the next two weeks to share excerpts, and posts about the book. I will be posting the schedule tomorrow on release day, as well as kicking off the first of two giveaways. I hope you'll join me there to celebrate.

And with that, I bid you all farewell from The Kaine.

9 Jun 2014

UK Meet 2014 - Bristol (Part 1 of 2)

This weekend was the UK Meet 2014, held in Bristol. I've just got back home to my babies, who were excited to see me after almost 5 days away. I think the girls are ignoring me for a bit though. This is my punishment for leaving them. I've had such a great time at the meet, and I wanted to share with you some of my memories and thoughts. I'll apologise in advance for the lack of pictures. My phone battery was perpetually running flat.

It all started on a train. Three and a half hours of train, actually. I was greeted in Liverpool by a lot of hugging from Poppy Dennison, my head scratcher and second adopted mom, and Val Hughes, the most special awesome editor I've met. After a relaxing evening of food and Val's awesome lemon madeira cake, we retired for the night.

The next morning our road trip party was completed by the addition of Violet Joicey-Cowen. We loaded up the car and began our drive down to Bristol, with the assistance of Gladys, Val's SatNav--not to be confused with GlaDoS, though with some of the directions she was giving us and the tone of her voice after going round the same road for the third time, I'm sure homicidal thoughts were close to the forefront of her CPU.

We managed to make it to the hotel in one piece, and met up with the rest of the early birds. Among them was my first adopted mom Blaine D. Arden, Clare London, Anna Martin, M.J. O'Shea, and many others. One surprising realisation I made that day was Jordan Castillo Price does not look like JCP without her signature hat. I had to do a double take when Clare introduced us. Jordan? No, it can't be. You look different. Wait...  it's because you don't have your hat on!

That night a few of us skipped the meal and went out to an Italian restaurant for food and drinks. We had a good chinwag, and I even mistook a female waiter, who was determined to put pepper on someone's dinner before the end of the night was up, for an emo guy. There was some discussion on the table about this, and apparently I was the only one to make this particular mistake.

After that, I travelled down to Old Market for a tour of the gay bars with Anna Martin. We only stopped for drinks at one, but I got a good look around. For once I got to bed on the Friday night before midnight, and even woke up on the Saturday without a hangover.  I bet Charlie got a surprise there.
Books were already flying off the table before we finished setting up!

The next day we were up early for breakfast, and a fun-filled day of events. The day started with the usual filling of the swag bags and the introduction session, which was followed on by the 'Novel Openings' panel. My admiration goes out to all the authors who volunteered to read the first 150 words of their novel as I certainly wouldn't have had the courage to stand up there in front of all those people and read my work.

After a quick recess, we dove straight back into things with two more panels on demystifying publishing and marketing, the latter led by the awesomesauce Susan Lee, who has given me some great things to think about.

Next up was a lovely lunch, though the fish looked absolutely disgusting. Luckily, I'm not a fish-eater anyway. I have to qive a quick kudos to the hotel here as the food was really good considering the amount of people they were cooking for, and we never found ouselves lacking in drinks.

For once I actually like my picture!
I skipped the first afternoon panel for an impromptu planning session with my co-panelists (TJ Masters and Anna Martin, with Jo Myles presiding) for the BDSM Workshop. Those forty minutes passed so quickly, and next thing I knew I was sat in front of a group of people introducing myself to talk about being safe within the BDSM lifestyle, not just with meeting people, but also during sessions too.

Then I was stood at the front of the room, with TJ Masters pulling out lengths of bright blue rope from his bag of equipment. I was a bag of nerves by that point. But I have to say that I had a lot of fun working do it. TJ was an absolute star, and I'm impressed by the level of quality in his ropework, too. As more and more ropes were wrapped around me, I began to feel more and more secure, and I'm glad to say that it wasn't just me having fun. We got so many comments throughout the rest of that day, and the Sunday too, thanking us for a great experience. I have to say a big thank you to the audience as well. Not only were they very well-behaved, but they were eager to engage with us and ask questions. We even had one person come up to try the wrist cuffs on. Seriously guys, you helped make that workshop the success it was, and I hope we can do something similar next year on a different aspect of the BDSM lifestyle.

The day wound down slowly after that, with the keynote speech from Belinda McBride, and then the book fair. I'm so honoured that people came to buy my books, and I am happy to say I had none left to put back in my suitcase. Thank you to all of you, and I hope my books don't disappoint.

In the interest of not making this post too long, I'm going to pick back up tomorrow for part two where I'll cover the second half of the conference, and also menton a few of the awesome people I've met. Hope you'll be back tomorrow.

11 May 2014

Cover Reveal: Slasherazzi

It's just one month to go until Slasherazzi releases from Wilde City Press. Mark that date in your calendars; June 11th. I'll be running a blog tour starting from my site and doing a lap around some of the hottest MM sites in the blogosphere, along with a giveaway for a copy of the ebook. I'll be posting the schedule and more details closer to the release date.

Anyway, onto the main purpose of this post. The big reveal! Some of you probably know I'm not a fan of the naked, headless torsos, or the generic two guys standing there with some image that's relevant to the book faded in at the bottom. So I'm pleased to say I'm very happy with the work done by the awesome Adrian Nicholas of Wilde City.

Without further ado, here it is...

Add the book to your to-read shelves over at Goodreads.

More info will be coming soon at Wilde City Press.

14 Jan 2014

2014: The Year of the Plan

I'm pretty sure 'the plan' wasn't one of the original Chinese zodiac signs, but I've decided to make it mine this year. And, I'm determined to stick as close to it as possible. And it's not just my writing that I want to set out a plan for this year either, though that will be a big part of it.

I'm planning on continuing regular workouts at least three times a week. That means getting my arse out of bed in the morning and going to the gym before work. Tiring work, but it'll be worth it in the end. I've been struggling to shift a bit of fat from my stomach area for the past few years, but I feel like I'm starting to make progress now.

And, of course, that leads into planning my diet. Well, it's not so much a diet as it an eating plan. No more takeaways for this author, except on special occasions (because everyone should be allowed to cheat once in a while). I'm going to really cut down on my sugar and saturated fat intake and see if I can't shake this last bit of fat.

Then there's my writing. I've scribbled down my plan onto my whiteboard and added provisional deadlines for each piece. You can see what I've scheduled in the pic to the right, and holy crap just looking at it makes me wonder how in the actual hell I'm going to manage all that. But you know what? I'm damn well going to do it! When you think about it, it's less than 1200 words a day. Totally manageable.

I've got Slasherazzi lined up and almost ready for submission for the end of this month. Daeva 3 is lined up for publication later this year. Other than that, I probably won't submit any other stories. I'm going to focus on completing first drafts for several books before I think of publishing anything else. Two reasons for this. One, I want to have more regular releases, and having a stock of completed first drafts will help with that. Two, you might notice but I have a longer series planned this year. So far I have a very basic outline for ten books for it, and I have a feeling a couple more might be added. I'd like to get well ahead in writing this series before the first book even gets submitted.

Anyway, that's the titles I have lined up for this year. Some of you may be wondering what they're all about, so I've included a bit more information below about what you can expect.

Daeva 3 (Return of Darkness)
Mik and Ash return for the final installment of the Daeva trilogy. An old evil has returned with the intention of wiping out the vampire race for good; something our heroes had wanted themselves in the not-so-distant past.

Detective Alex Beckman is having trouble balancing his work and personal life as he struggles to patch things up with his boyfriend, Vince, and catch a serial killer who likes to torture his victims and mutilate their genitals before killing them.

Some of you may know this one as The Back Door. Set in a futuristic dystopian world, Jason struggles to survive as a hacker, fighting against the authoritarian rule of The Accord. But during his search for Static, an elusive hero of the people and thorn in the side of the government, Jason finds something else he'd desperately been searching for.

Naga (working title: Halcyon series)
The Naga are a race of amphibious shapeshifters who dwell at the bottom of the ocean. Ryan was exiled from his race ten years ago and has since managed to forge a life on land. But one chance encounter with a man whom he saves will set off a chain reaction of events that drag him into the supernatural world of vampires, witches and werewolves, and eventually back to his home city of Halcyon.

Cold Space
A malfunction in the cryostasis chamber during a deep-space voyage leaves Jarrett alone on a ship with only the ship's AI for company-an AI created by downloading the mind of a comatose man into the ship's computer system. But what happens when these two men start to develop feelings for each other?

It's going to be a very busy year as you can see, so feel free to cheer me on. Anyone else got any goals for this year you don't mind sharing?

1 Jan 2014

Happy Old Year: 2013

While everyone is busy celebrating the start of a new year, I've decided that I'm going to celebrate last year instead. I know, I'm such a rebel, but I feel like it would be wrong to move on without recognising all the good things that happened in the last twelve months. So, I've decided to list my top 13 things that happened in 2013.

1) I got my first contract with a publishing house (well, I got two of them actually)

At the beginning of 2013 I finally plucked up the courage to submit one of my books to Dreamspinner Press. After several weeks of anxiously waiting for a reply, I received my contract. On 26th August, No Angel was released; my very first novel with a publisher. Not only that, but I also signed a contract with Wilde City for the Zombie Boyz anthology. Hopefully that first step opens up the way for many more releases in the future.

2) I finished the first draft of a book I'd been struggling with for over three years!

In July 2010, I came up with the idea for a book about a serial killer. Over the next few years I had plenty of attempts at starting up the project again, but each time my productivity quickly ground to a halt. But on 29th December 2013, I finished the first draft. Hooray! I've sent it off to a couple of betas and am awaiting their feedback before I dive into revisions and submit the story to a publisher.

3) I completed a 10k run

Many people might not know this, but I've always had problems with the muscles in my lower legs. I have a condition that sporadically pops up and causes the muscles to tighten to the point where they become rock solid, usually in response to physical exertion. As you can imagine, this would make it very painful to walk on, and more often than not the trigger would be... Yup, walking.

I started running using the C25k program in May 2012 in the hopes that regular exercise might help alleviate my condition. By around Nov. 2012 I was able to run 5km without too much hassle. I then decided to take this one step further and go for 10k. I finally achieved this in April this year.

4) I managed to stick to my previous resolution of going to the gym more

I tell myself I'll do this every year, and for one reason or another always end up not going. This year, particularly in the second half, I've been going at least twice a week, sometimes up to four times. I may still have a way to go to get the results I want, but I feel like now I'm at least on my way there, and am confident I'll reach my goals sometime in 2014.

5) I made it through GRL without hiding from the camera too much

If you saw me in Albuquerque, you probably remember that I was fairly quiet and shied away from having my picture taken. When I signed up for Atlanta, I was determined to make the most of my time there and have plenty of fun. Well, I certainly did that, and there were many, many pictures of me popping up on Facebook and Twitter the whole time.

What's more, I think it's evident from the pictures how much fun I was having, and how I was feeling a lot more comfortable than the previous year. I still find it difficult to smile naturally when I know a camera is pointing at me, but I definitely look a lot happier, and I don't hate my pictures as much now.

6) I made a lot of new friends

On the back of that last point, I got to meet a lot of great people this year. I think I ended up with about 40 new friend requests on Facebook over the course of the week, and I hope to continue this trend in years to come, while continuing the friendships I've made this year.

7) I learned to make and flip pancakes

As we all know, the art of making and flipping pancakes is an extremely valuable life skill. While I may not have perfected this, I'm definitely getting the hang of it.

8) I taught myself Photoshop

Another important skill to have is the ability to manipulate images. Why? Because then you can
totally make yourself look hot on those dating websites and lure unsuspecting victims to your home. Or, you can do as I did and make some cool images. I love doing this kind of thing and wish I had more time to practice so one day I could do it professionally.

9) The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey

So this isn't something that happened to me, per se, but seriously this film was fricking awesome! This was the first book I read (not including books at school), and  I loved it. Seeing it brought to life on screen gave me multiple nerdgasms, and I'm dying to see the rest of the films.

10) Spidey and Flash

A few months ago I brought home two new additions to my furry little family. They're both rascals, but I love them. Mik and Ash don't seem impressed by the boys, but that will probably change come mating season.

11) I went to my first Pride festival

While in Atlanta I attended my very first Pride event. Had a great time watching the parade and then
going round all the stalls in the park afterward. Very fun, though I still don't get the whole bead-collecting thing. Why was everyone so obsessed with the beads?

12) I came up with more story ideas than ever before!

And I still don't know what to do with them all. Hopefully I now have my writing mojo back, as I'm going to need to do some serious grafting in order to start catching up on my to-write list. The one I'm probably most excited about though is a long series (maybe 10 books or so) about an amphibious shifter in a world where paranormal creatures are out in the open. The world building alone that I've been doing makes this my biggest project so far.

13) The end of the year came

Making it through another year is cause enough for celebration. Every year we survive, is another opportunity for us to grow and evolve. And I can't wait to see what the next twelve months hold for me.