Cover Reveal: New Novel On The Way 5/13!

AnOceanApart_MSR

In the mood for a sweet, lighthearted romance?  Then give An Ocean Apart a try – it’ll be available on 5/13 from Ellora’s Cave!

When harried businessman Connor accompanies his father to Ireland to revisit their family history, he anticipates beer, bickering, and plenty of sightseeing. What he doesn’t expect is that a spontaneous outing will introduce him to Danny, a charming tour guide with big dreams and a gift for conversation.

As Connor struggles to repair the rift in his relationship with his father, he slowly falls in love with Danny—and with Ireland, too. And even though his time on the Emerald Isle is limited, Connor soon discovers that regardless of distance and misunderstandings, love means holding tight to what you treasure—and working hard to keep it no matter what.

Spread the word if you can – I’m not lying when I say this is one of my personal favorites!

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A Secret Path To Spring Available Now On Amazon!

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It’s with great pleasure that I announce the third and last day of my Spring Fling Celebration, marked by the release of a new short story: A Secret Path To Spring (Book 2 of my A Sanctuary For All Seasons series).

This short story is a sequel to my previous short and Book 1 of the series, A Winter ReverieIf you’re unfamiliar with the story of Morgan and Kai, it’s best to start there, but if you’re ready to carry on with their journey, here’s the summary:

Morgan runs a pagan shop in a town dotted with Christian churches. Thanks to the demands of work and a rough winter, he hasn’t seen Kai since the magical kiss they shared at Christmas, and his hopes for a romance between them have dulled. Beset by the demands of running a store and overwhelmed by gospel tracts from kindly locals, he takes to a little-known hiking trail in hopes of centering himself.

When an unexpected spring storm leads him to Kai again, however, the two of them realize that the spark between them hasn’t dimmed in the slightest.

In this sweet short story, a little bit of hope warms away the winter chill. Join Kai and Morgan as they reconnect and decide that, this time, they’ll nurture the fragile connection that means everything to both of them.

Thanks to all those of you who participated in Spring Fling with me – for picking up a copy of A Winter Reverie during the sale/freebie day, and for entering the giveaway (congrats again to the winner Milica!) May you all enjoy a wonderful spring!

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Under-promise, over-deliver.

I’ve spoken to enough editors and people in the publishing industry to learn that promised schedules sometimes mean…well, next to nothing.  In fact, here’s a collection of a few examples I’ve gleaned over the past two years:

“I’ll have this to you early next week.”

Translation: I’ll have this to you by next Friday.  Maybe.

 

“We’ll get to work on this soon!”

Translation: We’ll get to work on this sometime after six months has passed.

 

“I’ll have this back to you ASAP!”

Translation: I’ll have this back to you a week after you call me in four months and ask me where the hell it is.

The thing is, I don’t blame people for being late with things, or for schedules moving along at a snail’s pace.  Stuff gets in the way, new projects pop up, difficulties occur.  The problem is when you give a deadline and then don’t deliver.  And it’s even worse when you give a deadline and not only don’t deliver, but also miss the mark by a mile.

My mom drilled into me growing up that under-promising and over-delivering was a smart way to handle things.  Give yourself some leeway!  When my editors ask how long I need for edits and I think it’ll take a week,  I say two.  When I think something will take one day, I say I’ll have it done in a few.  At worse, in those cases, I impress by getting something done faster – and if not, and something does come up, I’m still not “late.”

Under-promise, over-deliver.  It’s way better than the alternative.

 

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Why No One Has Diarrhea In A Romance Novel

For a long time now, I’ve been reading criticisms about the relative “realism” of what occurs within the confines of a romance novel.  “No one falls in love like that,” people scoff, and roll their eyes.  “Not everyone has an orgasm during sex,” they say, and shake their heads.  “Romances are so unrealistic.”

My answer to that is first an eyeroll, because those accusations ignore the fact that some romances do indeed have plenty of realistic elements, and there are super-realistic romances out there to be read and enjoyed.  My second response is this: no shit, Sherlock.

Some people want to read gritty bare-bones realism, and some people want to write it.  This is well and good.  But yes, there are romances where everyone has orgasms and everyone is buff and beautiful and everything is a glorious erotic fantasy and that’s okay.

There is a reason no one ever has diarrhea in a romance novel: a lot of readers come to romance hoping for an escape from the all-too-real world.

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Spring Fling Event!

spring fling banner

During April 3-5 I will be launching a new short story – and I want to thank my new readers – so I hope you can join me for some fun and freebies!!

On April 3, I will be holding a giveaway: it’s your chance to win a free copy of my novel Prodigal! To enter, give me your name (or nickname) and email address either here, via Twitter, or on my blog between now and then.

On April 4, I’ll be making my winter short story A Winter Reverie free on Amazon for one day only – it’s a good time to say goodbye to the bleak cold dampness that is now hopefully (HOPEFULLY) behind us.

And on April 5 I will debuting A Winter Reverie’s sequel, the short story A Secret Path to Spring.  It’ll be a good grab for just 99 cents!

Can’t wait to welcome the spring with all of you~

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Chart Your Life, Writers. Seriously.

tomoe writes

I like my writing to be elegant and creative and inspired, but sometimes you have to turn to the spreadsheet.

 

I’m allergic to Excel and to spreadsheet programs generally.

I hate them.  They make me mad.  The cells, the sterility of them, the blank formless nothingness of them: they are the opposite of everything I love.  And I know it doesn’t have to be that way.  I have a mathematician friend who talks about Excel the way most people talk about their lovers: Excel is beautiful, he tells me, and deceptively simple, and oh god the things you can do with it.  You can stay up all night with Excel.

But I have a writer-brain that doesn’t want to moonlight as a math-brain, or an Excel-brain, and so I hate Excel and I mostly only use it when I have to for some kind of project. I try to keep it away from the free-flowing creativity of my writing. Until recently, that is, when I was struggling with finding time or enthusiasm to write.

My partner suggested I use Excel to chart my writing habits, and it has changed everything.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

To all of those who have supported me, encouraged me, purchased my books or spread the news by word of mouth, and to all of my followers here: go raibh mile maith agaibh!

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Enjoy 40% off a purchase from Torquere Press – perhaps even my new novel!

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Seven Ways To Break Through Writer’s Block

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at the blinking cursor on your computer screen with nary a word to show for it, you might be me, or you might be a writer with a bad case of writer’s block.  Either way, you have a problem – especially if there’s a deadline breathing down your neck.

How do you break out of the rut?  Here are my seven road-tested tried-and-true methods:

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A Straight Woman’s Five Rules For Writing Gay Romance

I write gay romance.

But I’m not gay.  I’m a straight woman.  And the audience for m/m romance is, from what I understand, predominantly female. And so I spend a lot of my time writing about a community that isn’t mine, and thinking about the responsibilities that come with that.  Because there are responsibilities, and I don’t take them lightly.  To that end, I’ve come up with five rules for myself to hold myself accountable – to remind myself that although my stories are fiction, the community I center them on is not.  I want to be a respectful and responsible writer of gay romance and – although I’m still learning and I’m sure I’ll make mistakes – this is how I try to do that.

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Nettles and Journeymen

Stinging nettles hurt.

I found this out when I was twelve years old, tromping through the forest next to my family’s summer cabin in the Appalachian mountains.  Wearing shorts, I marched through a patch of them and then started wondering why an invisible fire had started on my calves.  My panicked cries drew the attention of my father, who ran through the trees to find me clawing at my legs.  Without a word, he picked me up and dumped me – fully clothed and still yelling – into the nearby creek.

I remember laughing when the pain finally eased, splashing around in the creek and letting my dad show me where the wild strawberries grew.  I collected a whole handful of them.  And it’s that cabin – and the memories associated with it – which partially inspired Prodigal. Continue reading

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