Physical Therapy Available Now!

physical therapy

My new novella, Physical Therapy, is now available for purchase!  Find it at Ellora’s Cave here or through Amazon.  Formerly published as Adagio, it’s been revised and expanded into a much fuller text.  Here’s what you can expect:

Forced to take ballet lessons as part of his rehabilitation after a season-ending hockey injury, Chris shows up at Stafford Music and Dance Academy with a vow that this will be his only class. However, after meeting his kind but melancholy ballet instructor Arren, he suddenly finds himself interested in more than just the lessons.

As Chris struggles with ballet and Arren struggles with the painful accident that ended both his dance career and his belief in his own abilities, the two men find comfort in their growing desire for each other. Tempted by his instructor’s good looks and grace Chris soon realizes that he’s just the man to encourage Arren to lose his self-restraint—and to reach once more for his dreams. If that means catching Arren in the studio alone and engaging in some super hot and seriously naked therapy of his own devising, then all the better.

If you like hot ballet instructors and stubborn hockey players, this one’s definitely for you.


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Heart and soul: when did you start reading romance or erotica?

My love of romance started in my younger years as my own personal rebellion against sexual ignorance.

In my first year of middle school I had a friend whose home I visited and her mother read romance novels: those drugstore bodice-rippers with muscled men clutching women in their arms.  My friend and I used to sneak them out from her mother’s underwear drawer, giggling and wondering what it was that made them so forbidden.  We opened them immediately and, lifelong readers of everything from cereal  boxes to schoolbooks, commenced our exploration.

And immediately stumbled onto a sex scene.

And in retrospect it’s funny, because the “sex scene” I read then is now, to my adult mind, hilariously vague and full of euphemisms: her wanting his “strength” and him wanting her “warmth” until they “joined.”  But as a kid, man, it was scandalous.  I blushed through the whole thing – but I came out on the other side more knowledgeable about what sex at least entailed and that it could actually be, you know, pleasurable.  Raised in a fairly strict environment, I’d never so much as had a bird and the bees talk and up until that point only knew that sex was a vaguely unfortunate and sinful thing that people did to make babies.

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Romances Don’t Have To Be Realistic.

We’re living in a time where the most important thing - even and especially in fictionis being “real.”  Authentic.  Gritty.  Batman broods.  Game of Thrones as a series delights in subverting and undermining viewers’ and readers’ hopes.  And the protagonists in our media have as a whole become flawed and much darker, at times impossible to love and at times themselves unable to love.

In the midst of this, it’s no surprise that people would roll their eyes at happy-ever-after romance.  And with our cultural emphasis of late on Real Live Flawed Humans, it seems almost foolish or naive to write stories in a genre that generally offers happy endings and a steady belief in love and relationships.

But it isn’t.  It isn’t foolish at all.

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Physical Therapy Release / Come Say Hi On Twitter!

So tomorrow is the release date for my steamy little novella Physical Therapy, published by Ellora’s Cave.  To celebrate – and because I have chained myself to my desk to finish writing another novel – I’ll be hanging out on Twitter.  You’re welcome to join me!  I’d be thrilled to talk shop, answer questions, or just shoot the breeze with any of you lovely people.  So pop by any time after noon (EDT) and drop me a line.



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Don’t buy your ebooks through Amazon if you can help it. Here’s why.

So as an author I have a big stake in the debate over Amazon: to buy from Amazon, or not to buy?

I’m actually not interested in addressing the Hatchette mess here, nor will I go into any of Amazon’s other issues – though they do need to be dealt with and they speak, I think, to Amazon’s ethos as a company.  What I would like to say instead is that when you buy an ebook from Amazon – an ebook that might be available from other venues – you actually cut into the writer’s profits.  More importantly, you can often get the same ebook cheaper elsewhere.

Many book publishers make their texts available on a variety of platforms.  My novella In The Margin is available at Dreamspinner Press and on Amazon and also elsewhere.  Ditto with my upcoming novella Physical Therapy.  Here’s the kicker: I see less royalties from Amazon on my books than I do through the Dreamspinner or Ellora’s Cave sites.

tl;dr: Amazon isn’t the only game in town, so don’t be fooled into thinking so.  The ebooks you download from Dreamspinner or Ellora’s Cave will work just fine on your Kindle – plus they’re often cheaper, you can browse through other similar artists you might like, and you can directly support the publisher while giving the author a bigger cut to boot.

What’s not to love?  Plus, if you do find Amazon problematic for the reasons I already referenced earlier in this post, then this is just one more reason for you to shop for books elsewhere.

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Advice to writers: savor the moment (because it’s only downhill from here)

Is that a cynical title?

It’s a cynical title.  But this actually isn’t a cynical post.  Rather, I’m interested in chronicling the journey of my hey-look-I’m-an-author experience, and part of that is sharing things I wish I’d known before I started actually trying to get my writing published.

So here it is, one of the biggies: the minute you get an acceptance, the minute you get it, put down everything else and celebrate yourself sick.  Because the acceptance is the high point.  What follows is not bad by any means and there will be other high points aplenty, but the acceptance is one of the pinnacles.

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Physical Therapy coming at month’s end from Ellora’s Cave!

Curious how a shy, sexy dance instructor and his hotheaded client work out their frustrations during sessions?  If so, Physical Therapy is for you – and it’s coming at the end of this month from Ellora’s Cave!  Keep your eyes on the blog for more details soon.

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Finally on Goodreads!

Well, that was a little more elaborate than I expected.  If you’re on Goodreads, come on over and say hi here.

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The imperfect craft.

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.

- Neil Gaiman

I don’t know if I can speak for all writers, but for a long time – in high school and in college too – the art of writing came somewhat intuitively.  I was told “hey, you’re a good writer!” and I internalized that; my essays never came back with many red marks.  When I wanted to write fiction it sort of just appeared on the page with little effort on my end.  Everyone acted as though that was a sort of magic, and I never concerned myself with the groundwork of what I knew intuitively through feeling words: the interplay of verbs and nouns, the brilliant effect of a sentence fragment placed just so, precise diction.

For a long time that worked for me – or worked well enough anyway to propel me through the choppy seas of academia.  But now as I set about to make a career of writing (and I sigh when people eye me for writing “genre novels” as though the act of writing a romance is somehow Not Writing) I am having to unlearn all of what I knew before.

Writing is not so much magic as a precise and dangerous alchemy, and for the first time I’ve had to study the separate elements to make them work together or to work differently.  The process of doing this, of course, means embracing my own imperfection – and the imperfection of my writing, too.

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Twitter and Tumblr

Just recently got my Tumblr and Twitter accounts off the ground, so feel free to add me for random thoughts, information, and news:

Tumblr: reallexistone

Twitter: @reallexistone

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