Category Archives: Uncategorized

Preorders Available for Falling Together

My holiday season novella, Falling Together, is now up for preorder, and it’s just 99 cents!

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Cover Design by James, GoOnWrite.com

Mitch Jackson took a temporary job wrapping gifts at a Manhattan department store so he’d have some extra cash during the holiday season. He didn’t expect to get a bonus in the form of Austin Payne. Austin starts out as just another customer, though a particularly good-looking one, until he asks Mitch to dinner. Their whirlwind romance, touched by the magic of New York in December, soon grows from what could have been only a fling into something more—something like falling in love.

Preorder links:
Amazon Kindle
B&N
Kobo
iBooks

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A Real-Life Happy Ending

baseballheartSix years ago, as a newly minted romance author with just a few published titles under my belt, I headed off to my first romance-focused convention—the very first GayRomLit Retreat in New Orleans. I met a lot of great people along the way, people I now call friends. A few of them were my road companion, Vicktor Alexander; my hostess and host for lunch-with-an-author, Z.A. Maxfield and William Cooper; Kate McMurray, who sat with me on a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street for dinner; my riverboat cruise drinking companion, Rowan Speedwell…

… and a similarly newly minted author who went by the name of JP Barnaby.

JP and I were in a similar boat back then. We both only had a few titles out, and we were both very shy around new people, so that made it super hard to step up and talk to the many strangers around us. We mostly spoke at dinner one night, when JP invited me to join her with a few others. (I’m pretty sure she asked us because part of dinner would be a blog interview, and she wanted a little extra buffer. I know I would have done exactly the same!)

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly when a colleague or friendly acquaintance becomes a friend in the full sense of the word. For JP and me, I think a major turning point came in the summer of 2013, when she came to Atlanta for the Romance Writers of American convention. Sitting and giggling together on the floor in the back of a huge ballroom during a panel, slightly tipsy from too much margarita at lunch, tends to forge solid ties.

A little over a year later, after a million conversations both online and in multiple cities all over the country, JP—my friend Trish—contacted me and said, “Hey, I’m thinking about moving to Atlanta. Want a roomie?”

In January 2015, Trish came for a weekend so we could find an apartment, and in March, she packed up her entire life outside Chicago and shipped herself to Georgia.

Even as a writer, I hesitate over the right words to use to describe the changes I’ve seen in Trish since then. “Blossoming” is the main one that comes to mind. Trish has always been a good person, a great friend, brilliant and talented and beautiful. But she’d been muted, held under wraps, in part because of things she’s shared with all of us, through her books and the personal stories she’s related online.

Today’s Trish is the same woman she was when I met her six years ago, but she’s been reshaped through hard work and the support of so many people. She’s stepped out of the shadows, risen from the ashes of hardship like the phoenix tattooed on her back.

And in the process, she’s found her own happy ending.

Trish probably doesn’t think of herself as an optimist or a romantic, but I think her actions prove otherwise. Not long after she moved to Atlanta—and while we were in the throes of planning my sister’s wedding—Trish posted a personal ad online. Not long after that, she got a response from a guy named Paul. He seemed nice enough, and as a bonus, he wrote in complete sentences (never a guarantee in these cases), liked to read, and was a big baseball fan. As a huge fan of her Chicago Cubs, Trish could look past his allegiance to his hometown Braves.

You could say they hit it off.

Back in the spring of this year, Trish and Paul moved in together, along with two of Paul’s sons and Trish’s dog Chase. Their instant family fit together like puzzle pieces. And this summer, in front of most of their immediate family members, Paul proposed.

Today, right about the time you’re reading this post, Trish and Paul are being married in the backyard of Paul’s parents’ house. It’s a baseball-themed wedding, divided between two teams, but united in happiness for the newlyweds. In a week, they’ll head off on their honeymoon, and then they’ll settle into married life.

Today, JP Barnaby becomes Trish Gillham. The quiet little caterpillar has emerged from her cocoon as a glorious butterfly.

And they live happily ever after.

Cover Reveal and Preorder: Hands On

As part of gearing up for the RT Convention, I’ve decided to release a bundle of my four self-published novellas. Hands On contains the M/M novellas Rhythm & Blues, Tongue & Groove, and Heart & Soul and the F/F novella Graphite & Glitter. AngstyG made me pretty new cover art, too!

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Four novellas, four couples, four romances.

Rhythm & Blues

When life tears apart your dream, build a new one.

Former Broadway dancer Pate Hawkins meets model-gorgeous contractor Ace Samson when he answers as request for an estimate on renovating his studio space. The two men develop a fledgling relationship, but then the siren song of the stage calls Pate back…

Tongue & Groove

Sometimes home is what two hearts make of it.

While healing from a vocal cord injury, rock singer Saul Wilder decides to restore home his grandmother left him. When home renovation specialist Perry Abrams arrives to assess the job, Saul’s on board with mixing business with a little pleasure…

Heart & Soul

Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.

Pianist Kellen Grady meets former pro football player Terrence Harvey when he and his brother buy the bar where Kellen plays at night. A quick friendship develops, but their relationship takes an unexpected turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss…

Graphite & Glitter

All that glitters might just be gold.

On the night of her best friend’s bachelorette party, architect Adrienne Michaels has a scorching one-night stand with Tessa Smith, bass player for an all-female glam rock tribute band. Then Tessa surprises her by asking her on a real date…

Hands On will release on Tuesday, May 2, with a special RT release price of just $3.99. That’s right: four full-length novellas for a buck apiece. The sale price will be good for two weeks, through Monday, May 15.

Preorder links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Nook

iBooks

PayHip

Enjoy! And hope to see some of you at RT. 🙂

On Sale! Heart & Soul Is Just 99 Cents

My novella Heart & Soul is on sale this week for just 99 cents. It’s up at PayHip now, and the price change is working its way through to the other retailers. Grab your copy now! 🙂

heartsoul_webHeart & Soul

Self-published
Publication date: November 14, 2016

Love can sneak up on you in the last place you’d expect.

Kellen Grady has known he’s gay since he was a teenager, but he’s never been that interested in dating. A professional pianist, he’s happy spending his days teaching students of all ages and his nights working and playing at an Atlanta bar and concert venue. When former pro football player Terrence Harvey and his brother buy the bar, Kellen’s thrown by the change to his routine, but he develops a quick friendship with Terrence, drawn to his sunny nature and sharp mind. Then their relationship takes a turn when Terrence surprises Kellen with a kiss. The unexpected action, though not unwelcome, leaves Kellen faced with reevaluating everything he thought he knew—about Terrence, and about himself.

Amazon
B&N
Kobo
PayHip

RT16: A Quick-and-Dirty Recap

The biggest lesson I learned from my first trip to the RT Booklovers Convention? I need to work on my stamina. Holy WOW is it ever a marathon! Forgiveness in advance for any events or people I misremember here. 🙂

My week started late Sunday with a smooth flight into Las Vegas and a shuttle ride to the hotel. I got checked in easily and schlepped my much-too-heavy bags up to the room, unpacked just as much as necessary, and crashed, hard.

Grand Canyon

Monday morning, I was up early (if not all that bright) for a cab ride back to the airport with a chatty driver from Nigeria who warned me to watch out for crazy drivers if I drove in the city. (I didn’t, thankfully.) I met the fab Bru Baker, my roomie for the week, at baggage claim, and we hopped the shuttle to Enterprise to get our car. We ended up in a Camaro convertible, though thanks to rain, we never got to let the top down. After a stop at Jack in the Box for breakfast, we headed southwest toward Arizona and the Grand Canyon. That was a long, long drive that just seemed to get longer as we went. We finally arrived and got our chance to see the great big hole in the ground. And it is a BIG hole. (There were lots of jokes about that, yes. Also dusky pink rims.) Once we had our fill of the view and silly pictures, we headed back to Vegas to drop off the car. Another cab ride and we were back at the hotel, where we ordered late-night room service dinner and managed not to fall asleep in our food.

With Bru Baker at the Grand Canyon

Tuesday morning, we decided to take advantage of a rewards coupon I had for 2-for-1 lunch buffet at the Bellagio, which turned out to be delicious. The hotel is gorgeous, and I adore the Chihuly glass displays, but we made it a quick trip so we could get back for a panel on getting the most out of RT. Afterward, we headed back to the room to finish putting together swag for the various giveaways planned during the week and then went down to help set up for that night’s Cinema Craptastique. The movie was Abducted, starring Taylor Lautner (and his abs and eyebrows), and although the whole evening was funny and Damon Suede a hilarious host, the best part was that Bru got jumped on by a bunch of Lautner fangirls for making fun of him. (It was just a bad movie, okay?? Great supporting cast, but bad movie.)

Chihuly glass on the ceiling of the Bellagio lobby

With Kate McMurray and Christopher RiceWednesday, I slept in. We’re talking until nearly noon here, folks! Clearly I was exhausted. Once I woke up, and after briefly crashing Kate McMurray, Amy Lane, and Christopher Rice’s brunch at the Hash House A Go Go, I visited with various people (including the fabulous Robyn Carr) and then hit a couple of panels. First up was Writing F/F Sex for Romance and Erotica (aka the #ladybanging panel), where I got to meet Dahlia Alder and sat in a Vanessa North/Tamsen Parker sandwich (woot!). Great information on techniques and dos-and-don’ts for writing sex between women. After lunch, I chatted with Amy Jo With Amy Jo CousinsCousins for a while before her next panel, which was LGBTQ+: Characters and Stories in Changing Times. Another great discussion with the fabulous Amelia Vaughn from Riptide Publishing moderating. I finished off the afternoon with a get-together for the former Anything Goes Facebook group, where we talked crossover romance (that is, writing different types of pairings: m/m, m/f, f/f, etc.). A group of us decided to go to the Indian restaurant on site for dinner: me, Amy Jo, Tamsen, Vanessa, Karen Stivali, and Sasha Devlin. Loads of fun!

Thursday morning was the Dreamspinner reader party, for which I dropped off swag but couldn’t stay because I needed breakfast. I paid $9 for a small cup of coffee and a banana in the conference “snack bar,” which was the last time I bought anything there. At 11:15 was the panel on Crossing Over: Writing Straight and LGBTQ Romance, another great discussion with some favorite authors. I grabbed lunch from Starbucks and ate it back in the room before heading back out to visit with more people and then go to a panel at 4 on Reviews: How to Get Them, and What to Do with Them, featuring Jay from Joyfully Jay and the ladies of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I took notes on that one! Dinner that night was with Bru, Brandon Witt, and Hunter Frost, finishing with some amazing apple pie with vanilla ice cream and warm caramel sauce. OMG so good!

Fountain show at the BellagioFriday was another early day, kicking off with the Wheel of Romance. I helped hand out swag to the line and found a fan along the way who gushed over Sand & Water! (It’s still so weird to me to have fans, man.) Then I helped out along with other Dreamspinner authors while the featured authors gave away lots and lots of prizes. I spent the rest of the day hanging out and visiting with people, including drinks by the pool and lunch at the Guy Fieri restaurant in the hotel with Bru and Hunter, and then a group of us headed for the Strip. We had dinner at the Cosmopolitan buffet and came back by way of the Bellagio fountains, where we watched two “performances.” So pretty!

At the Giant Book FairThe final stretch of the marathon started Saturday morning with the Giant Book Fair. Brandon was a rock star, running around getting coffee and water and books for several of us who were signing. I got some new newsletter subscribers and signed for a few people, so that was awesome. Afterward, I joined a big group at Hash House for a late lunch, then headed back to the room to rest a bit. The final big event was the FAN-tastic Day Party, sponsored by Dreamspinner. I helped hand out raffle tickets, worked the room greeting people, and gave away a whole bunch of books, including clearing mine off the table and signing a bunch of them! I hung out with Janet Lee Nye for a bit afterward, and then it was off to bed with me. I had hoped to make it to the party that night, but I was wrung completely out by that point.

With Karen Stivali and Jacob FloresSunday was sleeping in, packing up, checking out, and hanging around the conference area until time to go to the airport. That’s when the only real bad luck of the week kicked in: the airport shuttle was late, so Bru and I took a cab to the airport, where the Delta baggage drop line was super-long. By the time I dropped my bags, walked a long way to security and got through, and took a tram to the concourse for my flight, my flight was half boarded. I managed to grab dinner from the Chili’s cold case and was in the last dozen people to get on the flight. But I did make it, got back home after midnight, and thanks to an amazing friend, got home and unloaded by around 1 a.m.

In summary: RT rocked, and I am already counting the days until next year’s, which is here on my home turf!

Where to Find Me at RT

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Next week, I’ll be in Las Vegas for the RT Booklovers Convention. Woot! Here’s where you can find me (barring any last-minute complications):

Tuesday, 8PM: Cinema Craptastique. I’ll be in the audience throwin’ shade (and giving away a prize pack) while we mock a Taylor Lautner movie.

Wednesday, 8:30PM: Vintage Vegas Romance Casino. Look for me in an animal-print dress. Rawr!

Thursday, 10AM: Dreamspinner Reader Party. I’m throwing in some goodie bags as prizes for the Apples to Apples games.

Friday, 10AM: Wheel of Romance. I’ll have another prize pack to give away!

Saturday, 10:30AM: Giant Book Fair. I’ll have Unfortunate Son and Nobody’s Son up for sale (and if you buy both, you can get Wayward Son for free!)

Saturday, 6PM: FAN-tastic Day Party. I’m in the first group of authors featured at this Dreamspinner-sponsored event, so get there early!

Saturday, 8:30PM: An Evening with the Bat Pack. Look for me with devil horns at this one. 😀

Currently writing: Tongue & Groove, M/M novella (~28%)

 

Straight Shootin’ Spring Fever Giveaway, and Updates

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First up: run over to Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews and check out their awesome Spring Fever giveaway! They’re giving away a Kindle Fire and a whole list of books by a bunch of awesome authors (and me!). Check it out. 🙂

This time next week, I’ll be all packed up and ready to head out to Las Vegas for the RT Booklovers’ Convention. SO EXCITED! I’ll be participating in several events, including Cinema Craptastique, the Dreamspinner Reader Party, the Wheel of Romance, and the FAN-tastic Day Party, and I’ll be signing at the Giant Book Fair on Saturday. Hope to see you there!

Currently writing: Tongue & Groove, M/M novella (~28%)

 

How Did We Get Here Already??

February? Really? I swear Christmas was yesterday. I need life to slow down a bit, please.

The past week has been mostly a wash. As many of you know, my mom fell Tuesday morning and broke her ankle badly. After surgery and a few days in the hospital, she’s now settled into a rehab center. She can’t put any weight on her right leg for 6 to 8 weeks, so she’ll need some strengthening and practice on moving around on her left leg only before she can go home. Thankfully, she’s doing well, without a lot of pain.

While I was able to do some day job work from my parents’ place, I made no writing progress and very little on my other major project, which is reading books to judge for the RITA awards. I have eight books to read, and I’ve only finished one so far. I have a pile of recent releases on my Kindle that will just have to sit and wait until I have the required reading done!

I’ve decided to start noting what I’m working on in my blog posts (and to try to post every 2 weeks). Like this:

Currently writing: Rhythm & Blues, M/M novella (~30% complete)

Indigent: A Charity Anthology

It’s my pleasure to feature a new YA charity anthology today. Indigent, edited by Louis J. Harris and Kimi D. Saunders and featuring stories by five authors, will benefit a group of LGBT charities. It releases on June 15, 2015.

Our nature is to live and let live.

Often disregarding the plight of our homeless, our sick, our tired and our handicapped LGBT fellow beings. It gives us great pleasure in presenting this edition to assist our community members wherever they may be. Many of our community members have nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat, and have no work. The proceeds collected from this book will go to rewarding several charities across the globe. These charities are passionate about what they do. Some take in the homeless and others provide a home for the aged and the handicapped. The charities whom we will be assisting:

  • GALA is a centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) culture and education in Africa. Their mission is, first and foremost, to act as a catalyst for the production, preservation and dissemination of knowledge on the history, culture and contemporary experiences of LGBTI people.
  • Lost-n-Found is Atlanta’s only non-profit organization dedicated to taking homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth off the street and into more permanent housing, Lost-n-Found Youth is dedicated to the advocacy and service of youth from 13 to 25 years old.
  • Youth Off The Streets is a non-denominational community organisation working for young people aged 12-25 who are facing challenges of homeless- ness, drug and alcohol dependency, exclusion from school, neglect and abuse. We support these young people as they work to turn their lives around and overcome immense personal traumas such as neglect and physical, psychological and emotional abuse.
  • The Albert Kennedy Trust supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. Every day they deal with the the effects home lessness can have on young people’s lives.

These charities require funding to assist desperate, needy members of our community and this book is a mere drop in the ocean of how we can reach out socially to them.

indigent_coverIndigent has been produced to entertain and delight and all the stories leave the reader with a “feel good” state of mind.

Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr’s “Indigent”, after which the anthology takes its name, brings the reader to witness an apocalyptic war between the good and evil that rages in one man’s mind. Soon he will know that his problems are insignificant compared to those of others.

Mari Evan’s “Stumbling into Forever” involves a handsome young vampire who will learn that just a sip of blood is the difference between love and freezing to death.

Leona Windwalker’s “If Only the World” takes rejection to another level. A heartbreaking story that is turned on its head by the kindness of strangers.
Shaye Evans’ “Rescued” is a contemporary social statement about the aftermath of a young man’s life after his drink has been spiked at a bar.

M. LeAnne Phoenix’s “Higher Love” takes us on an almost spiritual journey through the minds of two people who have never met, but have spoken on a telepathic level. When they do come together, that bond is already cemented but there is a price to pay.

Buy Indigent at Amazon

Author and Publisher Links

Louis J. Harris
louisjharris@cooldudespublishing.com

Kimi D Saunders (Writes as Leona Windwalker)
https://twitter.com/ShroudedDancer
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leona-Windwalker/890405037684824?fref=ts

Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr
http://www.authorfefeeleyjr.wordpress.com

Mari Evans
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mari-Evans/1412324675676352

Shaye Evans
https://www.facebook.com/ShayeLEvans?fref=ts

M. LeAnne Phoenix
mleannephoenix.com
FB: mleannephoenix
Twitter: @MLPhoenix

CoolDudes Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/pages/CoolDudes-Publishing/1524105151191706
Twitter: @lgbtpublisher

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108242351336143580514/videos

Final Blog Tour Stops and a Video Chat

Today’s final stop on the Unfortunate Son blog tour is particularly good timing, since my host, J.P. Barnaby, is headed to my place for the weekend! I talk about how my cover model’s real life has given him an even better HEA than Evan and Riley’s. 🙂

I also visited Vicktor Alexander’s blog on Wednesday with a cute, sexy little interview with Evan and Riley. That one was a lot of fun!

And Wednesday night, I helped kick off Dreamspinner’s new DreamWeavers video chat series. Poppy Dennison hosted me, Tere Michaels, and Rick R. Reed, and we had a fabulous time: