Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ho Ho Ho! My Christmas Release, Making His List, is out today!

Always excited for a new release, and even more so when it's a kick-off to the holidays! Making His List is part of Dreamspinner's annual Advent Calendar, and just went on sale tonight as a single ebook!

When his young niece Bailey moves in, Cory knows he needs to end his casual fling with Ken. Bailey’s had enough upheaval in her short life, and Cory doesn't want her to get attached to a “friend” who won't be sticking around. Even so, Cory finds himself continuing to let Ken into his life, but a one-night-stand gone serial isn’t what Cory wants, and so he makes The List: his requirements for the perfect partner.

Helping out during a difficult time, Ken finds himself being pulled into the family unit despite Cory’s previous emotional distance. He hopes he's finally breaking through, on the verge of convincing Cory to make their relationship more than a casual one. Then, while helping Bailey write to Santa, he finds Cory's list and takes it as his cue to bow out—just when Cory needs him the most.

The nice long excerpt on Dreamspinner's site is from Cory's point of view, at the very beginning of the book. So I thought I'd throw up (haha, no pun intended!) an excerpt that shows you a bit more about Ken. Hope you enjoy!


Ken didn’t even realize he’d made a decision until his hands turned the wheel left out of the parking lot—toward Cory’s—instead of making the right turn to go home. It was after eight o’clock, the earliest he’d been allowed to come over in the time since the girls had moved in, so Bailey would probably be in bed by the time he got there. And he could test his theory about being assertive.

Either he’d come out a winner, or the end would be clear. At the first red light, he sent a quick text: On my way over. OK w u?

Fifteen minutes later, he shifted from foot to foot, waiting outside Cory’s front door. Bypassing the bell as
usual, he’d knocked softly, twice, without success.

Is that clear enough for you, idiot? No return text and no answer.

Just as he was debating the wisdom of trying the knob versus keeping his pride and retreating, the door was pulled open, and he had to put his hands up quickly to keep a thin young woman with a vague resemblance to Cory from running right into him on her way out. So this was Becky, obviously dressed for a date.

“Oh!” She stopped for a second, and then veered around him toward the steps. A trace scent of alcohol trailed behind her as she brushed past. For the first time, he noticed the car idling at the curb behind his.

“Good. You’re finally here. I saw your text. I’ve gotta go. Bailey will not go to bed and Cory… Well, good luck with all that.” This last was offered over her shoulder as she opened the passenger side door and climbed in.

Staring in puzzlement after her, he was distracted from the actual sight of her driving off by the unfamiliar feel of a small, warm hand slipping into his. The sight of Bailey’s tearful face wiped away all his hesitancy as he herded her inside out of the cold night air.

“Hi, sweets. How are you feeling?” He squatted down to eye level as she wiped her nose on the sleeve of her shirt, blinking at him solemnly. He let his gaze wander past her, shocked at the unkempt appearance of the normally neat house.

“Okay. Can you help me make dinner?”

His eyebrows rose before he could control his reaction. With a surreptitious glance at his watch confirming it was close to nine, he bit back the questions and commentary and simply led her into the kitchen. There he found a ripped open loaf of bread sitting on the counter, two slices of bread amidst the crumbs, with a steak knife and unopened jar of peanut butter alongside.

“I can’t open the jar. It’s new. And it’s not crunchy.” Her lower lip quivered.

“Well, we can’t eat that then. Let’s look for something else.” While he quickly assessed the possibilities with a thought to speed of prep, he cored and sliced up an apple.

“Here. Why don’t you start on this? Do you like tomato soup and grilled cheese?”

“I like it how Uncle Cory makes it.”

Ken smiled, even as the reminder of Cory caused a twinge in his chest. “What do you like about Uncle Cory’s version?”

Bailey’s eyes sparkled for the first time since he’d met her. “He lets me float Goldfish in the soup and cuts the sandwich into a heart. Can you do that too? Pleeeeese?” She cocked her head to the side and batted her eyes as she begged.

He caught himself shaking his head at her antics and turned it into a nod. “You go find the Goldfish while I get the soup warming and find some cheese.”

Mission accomplished, Bailey perched happily on a stool, munching her apple slices and watching as Ken assembled two sandwiches. “Does Cory cut them into hearts before or after he cooks them?”

“After.” The adult-sounding duh in her young voice made him grin.

He finished the sandwiches, and Bailey eagerly assisted him by finding the heart-shaped cookie cutter, paper party plates and napkins. Finally settled with her dinner, he let her eat quietly while he munched on the sandwich trimmings, dipping them in his own small cup of soup, not really hungry but wanting to keep her company.

“Uncle Cory eats my edges too.”

He finally broached the question that had been foremost in his mind since his arrival. “Honey, where is your Uncle Cory?”


Available NOW at Dreamspinner Press! Don't forget to use the discount code "HolidayDreams" for 20% off your entire purchase twice per customer until the end of the year. :D

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful to still be a daughter...happy two year transplant day Mom!

***I originally posted this last year on another blog. I've tweaked the time references so it is relevant to the current year, but otherwise it stands as previously written. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Fall has always been my favorite season of the year, the colors, coolness in the air, what's not to love? It was Dad's fave as well, which made it especially difficult when he passed away unexpectedly at 61 in late October, seven years ago. Every Thanksgiving since then has been bittersweet with happy reminiscences comingled with the memories of the raw shock of that first holiday season without him.

Two years ago, my remaining parent was literally fighting for her life. She had been diagnosed with leukemia in May, fought a losing battle with chemotherapy over the summer, and nothing was helping to stem the advance of the cancer in her blood and bone marrow. With the classification that she fell into, her prognosis at the time of diagnosis was less than a year.

Then a miracle happened...her doctor was able to convince the insurance company to approve a bone marrow transplant despite her age (63) being beyond their normal range. That was followed closely by a second miracle...she didn't have to wait for a donor match. Her brother, who lived 4 miles away from her and was still in good health at 65, tested to be a perfect match for donation. Sibling donations have the highest success rate, and we crossed our fingers that Mom could hold out long enough to stabilize for and undergo the god-awful pre-procedure chemo and radiation.

So on November 25th, 2008, she was given the transplant, and we waited while her body fought both the cancer and the 'invading' new bone marrow cells. That Thanksgiving was filled with worry and hope.

As December began, she started slipping away. Her counts were proceeding 'normally', but she was becoming delirious and eventually unresponsive. An unexpected allergic reaction to her anti-rejection medication sent her into a coma due to fluid buildup in the brain called PRES syndrome. 2000 miles away, I could only wait for news. She was moved to intensive care and the second week of December I received a call needing permission to place her on a ventilator as a respiratory infection set in.

At that point I could wait no longer, and scheduled my flight to South Dakota. I hadn't seen her since August, and barely recognised her; her hair was gone, she was 30 pounds lighter, and all the medical support equipment... I walked into her empty house alone that night and it was the strangest sensation, as if she were already gone.

I sat by her bed for nearly a week with no response. I'd had the irrational thought that once there, she'd hear my voice and open her eyes, but that only happens in fiction I suppose. I lotioned her feet, tried to keep her bloody tears from drying on, and tried to talk. It was hard to know what to say, again where the movies and fiction have it wrong. Her hand was warm but dead in mine. During this time, her only movements were occasional gagging motions, and I asked, begged, pleaded, and finally demanded they remove the breathing tube. Their response was that she'd met every protocol except one; she had to be responsive before removal.

I was stymied by ICU staff and resp therapists at every turn until one day I finally spoke to the Pulminologist on the phone and reminded him that she's been unresponsive for days before insertion. After securing my permission to reinsert if she went south, he approved the removal, much to the dismay of the resp therapist who'd smugly handed me the phone in the first place, sure that the doc would support her instead of me.

She and the ICU nurse went through the shut-down and pulling of the tube. It was awful watching my mom's body fighting and gagging. But it was finally out. Then her eyes opened...

After weeks in a coma, when that tube came out, she just...woke up. The nurse asked if she knew who I was, and she said in a raspy, but clearly disgusted voice, "Of course! That's my daughter." Oh, that's my mama. Give 'em hell, Mom.

While she'd been laying there, her body had been accepting the transplant. They moved her back up to oncology the next morning (that was a jolt, coming into her ICU bay and having it be empty!), and I flew home the day after, on Christmas Eve, to be with my girls for the holiday. And only two weeks later, she went home. Her mom, my grandma, who was 87, moved out to the farm to spend the rest of the SD winter with her and take care of her 'little girl' during her recovery.

Today is the two year anniversary of her transplant, and she is 100% donor cells and cancer-free. This June she actually flew out to Oregon for a visit, something I never thought would happen again. She is living alone, still driving, and doing for herself. Moreover, she's still herself, still Mom, still Mimi to my two girls and my brother's little boy, something that I'd almost given up hope on during my vigil last winter.

Back 'round to Thanksgiving again, I am so thankful that my small family is not one person less this year. We had every reason to expect that she could be gone by now, but a few miracles later and I have something very real and concrete to be thankful for...my mom's future.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My First Audio Book is out!

Okay, it's pretty exciting to hear someone else reading the words you crafted aloud. Especially when it's the wonderful voice of JP Bowie and his sexy as heck Scottish accent. And wait'll you hear what he does with Mario! Rowr.

Visit the Rough Riders audio book page at TEB to listen to an excerpt! Very cool! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two Giveaways Over At Stumbling Over Chaos

The lovely birthday girl Chris over at Stumbling Over Chaos is having two giveaways this week you need to check out!

The first one is for the winner's choice of one of my three recent releases, The Swap, Rough Riders, or Wet Your Whistle.

Comment HERE to enter. :)

At the same time, she's running a contest for Ava March's next release, her first at Amber Quill Press, the fabulous sounding historical MM short story, Beyond Reckless.

Comment HERE to enter for this one (they are on two separate threads).
Go forth and enter! Good luck and happy reading!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Release Day for Wet Your Whistle!

My Sci-Fi/Futuristic, M/M/F menage story Wet Your Whistle is finally out! This is my first non-contemporary release, and also one of the first books I ever wrote, so it has a special place in my heart. I hope you enjoy it too!

I've dedicated this book to Kate Pearce, who first opened my eyes to the amazingly hot world of M/M and menage loving. Kate, my muse thanks you! I'd like to think I'd have written M/M anyway, but you were certainly the catalyst!


Three lonely people trapped together on a distant, isolated planet...

When Rhea was left all alone at Wet Your Whistle after her beloved grandfather died, she vowed to seduce the next visitor into taking her along when they leave. Who knew she would have to choose between two mouth-watering men?

Jolan is wealthy and handsome and arrives just ahead of the storm. But his presence here isn't random, and he stands to gain more from this visit than anyone suspects. Will having Rhea and all she brings with her cost him the man he loves?

Bryce has committed himself to Jolan—his lover and savior. Now the sexy Captain finds himself drawn to Rhea, but with nothing to offer her, how can he compete with Jolan for her heart?

With attraction on all sides, and layers of secrets to reveal, the three play in the hot springs and delve into love. But before the storm is over, they will need to make hard choices, and see whether the truth will cost them their hearts.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of both M/M and M/F intimacy, theraputic sex with a 'borg, and lots of hot springs menage loving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rough Riders Release!

It's release day for Rough Riders, which was originally published in the Gaymes Anthology. If you missed it the first time around, or prefer to skip anthos, here it is as a single release! If you like athletes, you'll love these guys. Be prepared for tackles with grindage, locker room jealousy, a very hot shower scene, and guys exerting themselves...

BLURB: Playing by different rules can lead to heartbreak, but changing the game plan can be the tiebreaker.

Luke Briscoe has a good reason to stay in the closet with his team, the Rough Riders. Bitter past experience has taught him to be cautious around athletic teams. But after Mario, his teammate and lover of ten years, leaves him, tired of the secrecy, Luke is forced to confront his fears, especially since the sexy and confident new member of the team, Derek Grimm, has no problem with being out and proud.

Derek has wanted Luke from the first moment he saw him. But he knows the timing is all wrong, and vows to let Luke have the time he needs to recover from his breakup. As time goes on, though, Derek becomes frustrated with Luke’s determination to stay in the closet. Derek and Mario are out, and the team is fine with it. Why is Luke still holding back? Derek wonders if any amount of time will ever be enough. Maybe it’s time to try a different game plan...

Reader Advisory: This story has been previously released as part of the Gaymes anthology by Total-E-Bound


"It's not like I hide you from the world," Luke protested, arguing one of Mario's most repetitive complaints of late. "But the guys here are not going to be as accepting as the public in general."

Mario rolled his dark eyes in his typical dramatic fashion. "Please. The whole point is that ...Get dressed, you're going to be late." He grabbed the jock dangling from Luke's fingers and slapped it at his chest with hardly a pause in his speech. "...is that we are here all the time. All. The. Time." He punctuated this with pokes to Luke's arm. Luke didn't move and Mario sighed. "Fine. I shouldnt have started this here. But I thought it would give you a chance to rearrange the roster, or at least start thinking about it during practice. Plus you can tell the guys today that I'm off the team."

"What?" Luke shot to his feet. "Why should I tell them? Why don't you tell them? It's as much your team as mine." The Rough Riders was their baby, formed nearly a decade before with a mish-mash of friends and acquaintances that had since become the most competitive three-sport team in the city. They entered tournaments city-wide and regionally in basketball and softball, and just last year had qualified for nationals in flag football.

"Not any longer. And think, Luke." Mario stood as well and leaned in close. Luke closed his eyes briefly as the warm, familiar scent came to him, knotting his insides. "Do you really want me to tell them? Hmm? I have reached the end of my self-control. If they ask me why, I will not be able to lie. And you do not want me to tell the truth." He flipped his hand expressively. "That is the whole problem."

"What if..." Luke stopped, swallowing hard. He fought down the rising panic. "What if I did tell them? Would you stay?"

Mario's handsome face slackened in shock and disbelief, then hardened. "Put your fucking workout clothes on. Meet me outside." Luke touched his elbow warily, and Mario knocked his hand away. "Outside, or I swear to God I will take this fucking roof off." He stormed away, muttering to himself, the stiffness in Mario's normally fluid stride bringing a touch of fear into Luke's heart.

Luke quickly dressed and hurried out the door to the practice area. He looked around with a frown. He should have asked Mario to specify where outside. The sports complex was huge. Maybe he meant by the parking lot?

Luke started walking around the huge building in that direction, and stumbled when Mario grabbed his T-shirt and yanked him into a doorwell, shoving him up against the cinderblock wall and taking his mouth in a hard, demanding kiss. Luke found himself moaning into the rough contact, which drove all thoughts of their whereabouts straight out of his head. He let go of Mario's arms, which he had clutched initially to balance himself, and wrapped his arms around him, desperately returning his kiss. Coaxing the other man in to a softer mutual stroking of their mouths, he willed Mario to give up this crazy ultimatum. God, if he lost him... He groaned as he shifted, fitting himself more completely against the insistent press of Mario's lean, muscular form.

Mario's hand snaked up under Luke's shirt, tweaking his nipple. The jolt brought Luke's eyes open, and they immediately snapped to movement over Mario's shoulder. His eyes widened and Luke stiffened as he saw a tall, superbly fit man running rapidly towards them, his eyes looking directly at the pair with surprise. "Shit," he muttered into Mario's mouth. "Babe." He disengaged their mouths by turning his head, pushing at his chest. Mario kept him pinned. "Mario, let me go, man, someones coming!" He pushed ineffectually against the well-positioned man.

"I thought you wanted to tell everyone." Mario mocked, his tone derisive, but his eyes were filled with pain. He kept Luke in place as the man ran past, close enough that they could hear the swish of his running shorts as he blew by, apparently wrapping up his workout with a sprint. "He wasn't even someone we know and you froze up. And you think you can tell the Riders?" He snorted and finally released Luke, backing away, shaking his head. "I'm sorry. I just can't do this anymore."

Available at Total-E-Bound.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday!

I had a fun time last night going out to First Thursday down in the Pearl District, and what made it even more fun was one of my closest friends had a grand opening for her second Popina store. Here are some pics from the evening:

Some of the models and employees after the fashion show with my friend/designer/owner, Pam (the somewhat hidden redhead).

Pam and her husband Will outside their new store.

Drinks and dessert afterwards with my friends Melia and Brad (for those of you who've been around, he's the Twelve Gays of Christmas friend):

All in all, it was a great time, and I really had fun. I need to get downtown more often!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Contest Winner, Congrats Andrea Speed!!

I've had a ton of fun with this contest, and clearly there are some rabid movie fans out there! What a great response!

After watching this so many times I can now envision the clips along with the music (and likely will for life), I've listed as best I can the movies shown in the video, with the ones that every participant named correctly in red type:

House on Haunted Hill, Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, Fiend Without a Face, Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Beginning of the End, The Creeping Terror, Earth versus The Spider, The Hypnotic Eye, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies (yes, that is a really long title, lol), The Wolfman, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The Fly, Plan Nine From Outer Space, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Mummy, Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein, Frankenstein meets the Wolfman, The Abominable Snowman, and The Mad Monster.

How did you do?? :)

My winner, with an amazing 20+ correct, is Andrea Speed! Andy, congratulations! Now...put the remote down and slowly back away from TCM and the Sci-Fi Channel! :) Once you pull yourself away from your popcorn, drop me a line at devonrhodes at hotmail dot com with your choice of book from my backlist (see the left sidebar if you need some help there).

And thanks to all my participants for joining in on the fun!