Too much to ask?

There are things I dream of having some day.

  • A one-story solid waterfront home, and by this I do not mean the beach. I mean something closer to a lake or Puget Sound. A home with no plumbing, pest, critter, mold, electrical, or safety problems, with a tidy little office, where I can write or draw, that gets loads of natural light and looks out over the water
  • Considerate neighbors. These are people who do not drive by blasting their bass-heavy music and rattling my windows, or whose bass doesn’t pound through my walls from next door. Neighbors who do not feel the need to set off illegal fireworks late into the night (or at all, frankly) three days before, on, and three days or more following the Fourth of July. I don’t really have a problem with children playing as long as the stay the hell off my porch. Crotchety old lady alert! Basically, I don’t want to know you’re there unless I need help or you do.
  • Amenities. I want fast, reliable Internet, cable TV, phone,  and fire and rescue service, as well as prompt pizza/pasta delivery.

How do I accomplish these things without a fairy godmother?

Have a great weekend, people!

Plummet release day!

Plummet200My short story Plummet has arrived! Find it here.

Blurb: Dealing, or rather not dealing, with a recent breakup, Ari Melrose, CPA, nearly takes his car over a cliff. Instead, he is rescued by Brandt Steuben, a big, burly ex-firefighter who pulls him to safety and into his arms. Near-death experiences can make normally careful, rational people grab life by the horns, or men by the biceps, and hop on for a wild ride, so Ari figures what better way to get over his problems than to work them out with his super-hot savior? But a fateful afternoon soon leads to more than physical passion, and Ari finds he might not want to let go of Brandt.

Excerpt:

But my world had been out of control for a while now. It had been a month, and I thought I had dealt with losing Saul to that young, swishy piece of ass Thilo Becke—Thilo the baker with his sweet pastries and pert behind, all sugar and shiny new sunshine. Argh! I wanted to pound something. But not right now and not the dashboard. That would be the end of me, wouldn’t it?

Earlier I’d joined Nanette for a liquid lunch at Pander, only to bolt from the place ten minutes after Saul and Thilo strolled in. I had tried to hold out, to pretend I hadn’t noticed them, to chat about work or the weekend exhibit I wanted to see in Portland or the shoe sale I’d hit two days before.

But it was my ex and his new—what? Beau? Squeeze? Fuck? Yep, Thilo’s a fuck if I’ve ever seen one. It was those two who didn’t notice me glaring death at them from the corner. They were too into each other to see anyone else around them. Nanette had tried to distract me, talk me down, bless her heart, but that lovey-dovey behavior was too much to take. Rub my face in it, why didn’t they? Thilo was so young and blond and fun and… bendy. That’s it.

At thirty-five, I wasn’t so young anymore. We were both blond, but where he had long golden ringlets, I had close-cropped, thinning hair. I think my idea of fun and Saul’s had simply diverged at some point. And as far as bendy went, I wasn’t as flexible anymore. Not in bed nor in life. At least not from Saul’s perspective.

When Thilo began to feed Saul his lunch, I was up and out, Nanette’s concerned voice ringing in my ears. I’d jumped in my Miata and raced away, no idea where I was headed, only the word “far” repeating in my head.

Now facing my imminent death, I wondered if this was where I’d intended to end up all along.

*****

Like that? Check out the whole story.

Have a great week, people!

Busy month

Hello, all! I have several events going on this month. Hooray! First, On July 9 my short story Plummet will be released by Dreamspinner Press. Second, on July 14, as part of DSP’s Christmas in July promotion, my latest novel Right On Time will be available for 24 hours at 99 cents! And third, on July 15, I’ll be participating in Takeover Tuesday on the DSP Twitter account (@dreamspinners), where another author and I will tweet, chat, give away some books, all-around fun, etc., yes? Aside from that, I’m still slowly plugging away on two (or three) novels.

Have a great week, people!

Update: It looks like I’ll be taking over the Dreamspinner Press Twitter account on July 8 instead of 15. Hope to tweet you there!

 

 

A short story approacheth

A while ago I wrote a short story (it’s over there, on the right, under Coming Soon. See?) I believed too short to submit on it’s own. It would have been just fine in an anthology or collection of some type but couldn’t find any comrades to join up with. Let me set the scene:

It was one of those horrible days–bright blue sky, plenty of sunshine, those annoyingly puffy white clouds floating by. He put on a brave face in spite of it, in spite of his partner bailing on him for a younger model.

He accepted an invitation to lunch with his best friend, only to have his ex and his ex’s new lover stroll in and proceed to nuzzle each other at a corner table. I mean, who does that over panini?

It was too much, so he fled and sped away in his little coupe. As you can guess, rage, heartache, and a lead foot are not conducive to safety, especially when you throw in high, winding roads in Oregon.

That’s all I’m saying about that. So, where oh where do I make use of the story? A colleague suggested I submit it all on it’s lonesome, and I did. It’s coming out in July. Hooray! I enjoyed writing it, even made myself laugh as I did, but overall it’s supposed to be sexy and hot. Yum!

So if you’d like to learn Ari and Brandt’s story, check out Plummet, available from Dreamspinner Press on July 9.

Have a great day, people!

 

Congratulations!

Hello, folks. You might have heard I was holding a giveaway for three autographed paperbacks: my latest novel Right On Time, the one before, Button Down, and an anthology I’m part of called, Juicy Bits.

ROT100BD100JB100To enter all you had to do was leave a comment on the giveaway post sharing your thoughts on a book you enjoyed and why. Nine of you commented (four international, five in the US) and I think my readers and I got some great recommendations, so thank you for participating.

The winner is JenCW. Congratulations!

I’ll get those books in the mail to you as soon as possible.

Big giveaway

Hello, everyone. I’m giving away autographed paperback copies of my latest novels Right On Time and Button Down, as well as the “Juicy Bits” anthology, which includes my short story Sandman and the Cookie. Yep, all three paperbacks. That’s a lot of reading. For a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog about the last book you enjoyed (any book at all) and share why you liked it, sort of a minireview, if you will. The giveaway starts now and ends at noon on Saturday, May 31. I’ll draw a name and then announce the winner on Monday, June 2.

How about it? You interested? Remember to leave your comments below.

Hope your week is going well, people!

ROT100BD100

JB100

It’s new novel time

ROT200

Cover art by Catt Ford

My new novel Right On Time releases Wednesday, May 14. Hooray!

It continues the love story of Barnaby Rosenthal and Charleston Meeks Jr. that began in my time travel short story One Constant. It’s set in the year 2020 and begins about a month after Charleston’s thirtieth birthday party. At the party he received a painting Barnaby had done of him and a brochure from his father detailing an upcoming art show where he could find the man he loved…if he wished. Check out the blurb and excerpt below.

Blurb: Throughout his life, successful artist Barnaby Rosenthal has been rescued repeatedly by his one constant, Charleston Meeks. But it’s been seven tumultuous years since he’s last seen the temporal agent outside of his dreams and paintings. Recently retired from his father’s Restore Point Program, Charleston’s ready to approach Barnaby in their present year of 2020 and discover if the two of them can build a future on their harried past. Standing between them is a conservative senator determined to erase the people saved by the RPP, and much of her rage is focused on Barnaby. For the senator, time travel goes against God’s plan, so with the help of her hired guns, she intends to correct the program’s meddling by any means necessary. For the first time, Charleston may not be there to save Barnaby.

Excerpt: He had no idea what he’d say to Barnaby. He knew what he wasn’t supposed to tell him (covert government operations and all), but he considered that more of a guideline than a ticket to twenty years in federal prison. Would he walk up to Barnaby’s front door and knock? Pretend none of it had ever happened? Could they start something together right here in 2020? What would Barnaby tell his family? He grinned and sighed. I’m getting ahead of myself.

His last step to “save” Barnaby had left him literally falling apart, and recuperation had taken some time, during which a friend and colleague had been busy on his behalf, digging up whatever she could about the artist. Speaking of said colleague, at that moment Jeri Sato strode up to their table, the ever-present cherry lollipop in her mouth. She looked around and startled the couple at a nearby table by commandeering their extra chair, dragging it over, and dropping into it, effectively joining the conversation.

“Hey.”

“Hey,” Charleston and Leaundra said.

Jeri grabbed Charleston’s drink and downed it, then delighted them with a long, drawn out grimace. “Bleh!” She withdrew her lollipop and frowned at it as if it had betrayed her. “Okay,” she said after catching her breath and putting the candy back in her mouth, “I have the info on Rosenthal.”

“How’s it look?”

“Sato. Charleston,” Leaundra said, getting to her feet, “I’m going to leave you to this. Plausible deniability and all. Plus there’s some shit going down at RPP I have to deal with.”

Charleston snorted. He didn’t think he’d ever heard her curse before. “Really? What’s happening?”

She paused as if considering what to say but clearly thought better of it and extended a hand to him instead. “By the middle of next week, you’ll be fully back on the grid, son. Best of luck.”

Jeri was oblivious, busy typing on her tablet as he bid his former team leader farewell. She walked to the waiting SUV, and the soldier behind the wheel whisked her away.

Back on the grid, huh? Charleston Meeks Jr. would soon be out there for any and all to find. As a temporal agent, he’d enjoyed virtual anonymity, existing enough to pay bills and own property, but not enough for his name to show up in any web searches beyond Goodland, Kansas—nongovernment searches, that is. With his retirement, nearly his entire history would be searchable on the Internet and appear to any and all who wanted to find him. The details of his federal service would remain suspiciously vague, however.

He leaned back in his chair, stretching his legs out in front of him, the picture of relaxation, while at his side sat Jeri, sucking on her lollipop like it was the last one on Earth and unconsciously bouncing her legs with pent-up energy.

For the short time he’d known her, this was her default setting. Always several steps ahead of everyone else, nothing in this world seemed to move fast enough for her, and she was forever in danger of being bored. In sharing her reasons for helping him complete an unauthorized time step, she’d said, “I don’t have enough to do, and that usually leads me into trouble.”

He smiled as he watched her work on what appeared to be a standard-issue, though bright-purple, data tablet, but he knew she had probably added memory, encryptions, code-breaking software, and God knew what else to it. She had named it Alohomora.

“Okay, here’s the rundown,” she said, ready to give her full report on the man Charleston was desperate to see again. “After your last Rosenthal step, at the church—”

“I remember, Jeri.”

She glared at him. “Don’t interrupt me. Talking it out helps me keep track of things.”

“Sorry.”

“Since then, Rosenthal did go to art school and earn his degree as he’d planned, but….” Charleston raised an eyebrow as he watched her quickly scan the data on the tablet. “Well, he had a rough time of it.”

“How so?”

She sighed. “The first year or so, he did well, but after that he began to struggle.”

“But he’s so talented—”

“—and depressed and a possible alcoholic and temperamental and a loner and… did I say depressed?”

“Aw, hell….”

“You’re still interrupting. Now listen. He is a successful artist—albeit one clinging to the older mediums—but more importantly, at least to you, there haven’t been any stable, long-term relationships over the past seven years.” She tapped her tablet and scrolled the page. “His longest relationship to date is the one he’s in now with—Oh, oops,” she said, looking at Charleston. “Sorry.”

“It’s okay. Go on.”

She looked back at her tablet. “With Rossom Bailey.”

“What the fuck is a Rossom?”

“He’s a model.”

“Of course he is.” Charleston sighed.

She studied the tablet. “Mmm, he’s lovely…,” she mused, then gave her candy an obscene suck as she yanked it from her lips with an audible pop. She glanced at him and grimaced. “If you like the type.”

She turned the tablet toward him, and he rolled his eyes. “What type?” he asked. “The beautifully perfected type?”

“The type with dicks.”

Charleston chuckled bitterly and turned his attention to the people rushing by (now in the opposite direction of earlier), their lunch hours apparently over. The sunshine wasn’t as pleasant, seeming harsher now, glaring and uncomfortable. “Well… if he’s happy, then I guess—”

“Looks like the portrait Plump—”

“Plumb. Her name is Dr. Plumb.”

“—got you was one of the last,” she continued. “He stopped including paintings of you in his shows about two years ago. Around the same time he….”

“What?”

She glanced up from her tablet. “Was hospitalized for ‘exhaustion.’”

“Exhaustion?” Charleston frowned. “Are you saying he had a nervous breakdown?”

Jeri shrugged. “There aren’t any details available for the general public, but I could probably dig up his medical records… maybe even doctor’s notes?”

“You can do that?”

“Chuck, I can do just about anything with a hot spot.” She reached out and pretended to snatch a handful of air. “It’s all out there for the taking. You just need to know where to look.”

“Isn’t that illegal?”

“What’s your point?”

“Don’t call me Chuck.”

*****

There ya go. I hope you enjoyed that. Right On Time is currently available for preorder at Dreamspinner Press, or you can buy your copy on May 14 and learn what’s in store for Charleston and Barnaby.

Have a great week, people!