Blog

My Novellas, My Novels

PTSD-lite, PTSD-gritty

For those of you who’ve read Love on a Battlefield and crave a grittier look at PTSD than what I portrayed in that book, I’d like to recommend Silver Scars to you. Gil’s life is destroyed after an explosion left him shattered. When he meets Keith, a man living with struggles of his own, Gil feels hope again.

Gil’s PTSD is not a result of war like Andrew’s was, but it’s just as powerful. Maybe more so.

I actually poured a lot of my own PTSD and anxiety into Gil’s experience and I pretty much wrote Silver Scars as therapy to get me through a deeply troubling time in my own life. So yeah, I guess I wrote my experiences into Love on a Battlefield too since Andrew uses writing as his therapy. I just realized that.

Silver Scars is a slowly woven tale of healing and trying to make a relationship work between two broken men.

Love on a Battlefield is a story about first times, second chances, and the transformative power of the written word.

Silver Scars

AMAZON ITUNES BARNES & NOBLE GOOGLE PLAY KOBO PAYHIP STORE SMASHWORDS OTHER BOOKSTORES

Love on a Battlefield

POSY’S PAYHIP AMAZON IBOOKS KOBO BARNES & NOBLE GOOGLE PLAY OTHER RETAILERS

Advertisements
Book Release, My Novellas

New Release: Love on a Battlefield

Not every compass points north.

LoveOnABattleField-Final-2

Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.

Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.

Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

A story about first times, second chances, and the transformative power of the written word.

 BookBub Goodreads

Format: E-book & Paperback
126 Pages | 1-2 Hours to read | 25,500 Words

Posy’s PayHip Amazon iBooks Kobo Barnes & Noble Google Play Other Retailers

gay romance, second chances, first time, sweet, disability romance, meant to be, military, artist, world traveler, coming of age, long-distance, pen pals

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 11.14.44 AM

Playlist to get you in the mood or enhance your reading.

1. Owl City – “I Found Love”
2. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
3. The All-American Rejects – “Dirty Little Secret”
4. Panic! At The Disco – “Girls/Girls/Boys”
5. twenty øne piløts – “Can’t Help Falling In Love”
6. Fall Out Boy – “Sunshine Riptide” (ft. Burna Boy)
7. The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
8. Panic! At The Disco: “This Is Gospel”
9. Green Day – “Still Breathing”
10. Calum Scott – “You Are The Reason”
11. Imagine Dragons – “I Bet My Life”
12. Fall Out Boy – “Hold Me Tight or Don’t”
13. Panic! At The Disco – “Ready To Go”
14. Green Day – “Ordinary World”
15. Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

LoveOnaBattlefiled-PrintCover-Promo
Paperback
Monday, Uncategorized

My World this Monday

 

North Star Trilogy

This week I’m finishing up a major restructure and edit of Spark. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m getting the rights back to the entire North Star Trilogy later this year and each book is going to be re-edited.

Spark is getting the most work. I’ve restructured how the book is laid out, moving scenes around, combining some, and cutting a lot of words. I’ve added scenes as well, reworked the climax of the book to make it stronger, and added a bit more to both Kevin and Hugo’s heroic journies.

While I don’t want to change the meat and bones of the story, I am cutting some of the fat and adding more muscle. In the end, I’m hoping Spark will be a much stronger start to the series.

North Star is a trilogy meant to be read in its entirety to get the whole story. Each book has it’s own plot twists and turns, but there is an overall arc that spans the series.

True love is worth fighting for, even if the world tries to tell you differently.

Spark Title - Final-2

Spark is a story about the start of a relationship that burns so hot and fast that Hugo and Kevin are overwhelmed by it. Thankfully they meet again seventeen years later when they’re more mature, and they get a second chance at romance. Even after all those years, their passion never waned, but life got a lot more complicated. Kevin has kids and an ex-wife. Hugo has a hurt heart from past relationships.

FusionTitle-f-1

Fusion is when reality comes crashing down on Hugo and Kevin. After they’ve decided to really give their relationship a go, complications are thrown at them that could completely derail their plans to build a life together. But rather than drift apart, they make the decision to fuse their lives and support each other through a very difficult time.

Flare Title - Final

Flare is where the story has been headed this entire time. It’s obvious in Spark that Hugo and Kevin belong together. Fusion made that all the more clear, even showing what great parents they’ll be. And just when you think they’ll finally have a chance to live their happily ever after, people try to throw traps in their way that put Kevin’s kids at risk. But they don’t allow any of those obstacles to get in the way of building their future together.

I introduce elements in book one I don’t resolve until book three. People who read all three books have raved about the trilogy, but there was something that stopped a lot of readers after Spark. That’s what I’m truly trying to address here.

I also have new covers, which I can’t wait to share. I don’t know when I’ll do that. Maybe once dates are pinned down. There will be men on these covers. I finally found two models who came as close to representing Hugo and Kevin for me as any. That was the hardest part in 2013 when the original covers were first being considered. Rather than being disappointed by a thousand more stock photos of men, I decided to forego people entirely.

Over the years, I’ve met many readers who had no clue North Star was a romance. A few years back I tried to remedy that by asking my publisher to bundle the three books together and putting a couple of the cover. That sold better, but the couple didn’t quite depict Hugo and Kevin. So I’m hoping putting men on the cover will give a clearer first impression that these books are romances.

Some new images popped up recently that all worked together, so experiments happened. And then covers happened. They’ll be black and white, for the most part, with titles reminiscent of the original covers, as you can see above. Take a gander on the right sidebar to see the original covers. I wanted to stick with orange, blue-gray, and green.

Once I’m done with my edits on Spark and get those sent off to beta readers, I’ll be back to working on my editing work for other authors.

That’s what I’m working on this week. What are you up to?

My Novellas, Preorders

Love on a Battlefield Teasers

LoabTabletTeaser

Not every compass points north. The tug Andrew and Shep have felt since the day they met might be pointing their way home.

Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.

Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.

Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

Format: E-book & Paperback
126 Pages | 1-2 Hours to read | 26,000 Words

 BookBub Goodreads

Preorder available here:

Amazon iBooks Kobo Barnes & Noble
Google Play Other Retailers

Oranges on a branch with leaves IsolatedRed hot chili peppers on the forkSage leaves isolated on white

gay romance, second chances, first time, sweet, disability romance, meant to be, military, artist, world traveler, coming of age, long-distance, pen pals

InstaTeaser-ShepInstaTeaser-BootcampInstaTeaser-PoolInstaTeaser-LettersInstaTeaser-GhostInstaTeaser-Trope

Me Being Me

I’m Drowning in Files

Despite the gloriously clean image of my desktop above, I really suck at organizing files. Not just paper ones but electronic files as well. It has a lot to do with the fact that I don’t have a decent naming system and that I often click Save and my edits end up in some obscure file directory I didn’t even know existed.

The only place where I’m fairly decent about this is with my editing and formatting clients. I at least have a system and I save the files to one spot so I can work on them from multiple computers, if need be. But then years after I’m done with those files, they still sit in the same place. I’ll likely never go back to them, yet there they sit.

Writers save their work a lot. I do most of my drafting on Scrivener, so that makes it easy for me. But once I’m done with my major edits and want to get super technical and share my work with beta readers or send it to my editor, I move over to word. So I start off with a file name like Title.docx.  Easy enough. I tweak and may even change this to Title_Draft.docx or Title_Draft_2.docx. Then once I send it off and get it back, I add on Title_Draft_BetaName.docx.

Screen Shot 2018-02-09 at 11.16.45 AM

Then I move on to Content_Edit, Copy_Edit, Proof, and finally to Format. There may be many incarnations behind that, usually denoted with a numeral.

Formatting files, well… with that I format my proof, an ARC to send out to reviewers, and my final product. Each of those files is then converted into files for Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, B&N, a generic epub, and then a print version, if I choose to make a paperback. As for the print version, I actually format that a bit differently than my ebook because of the way the text falls on the page. I have more control, so I create a new file for that.

But the real problem comes when I’m searching for a file and I end up with a list this long. It’s filled with images, formatting files, ebook formats, PDF print, covers, teasers, and a whole lot more.

Once I have a book uploaded to stores and ready to go, do I need all that? How long do I keep a file around? When I do a search on some of my oldest stories, there are hundreds of files. I used to have a different file for each chapter back then because I published them as a serial.

How do you organize your computer files? My goal for 2018 is to be conscious of where I’m storing a file before I hit Save. I have so many images that have ended up in my Documents folder that it’s not even funny. Why is that? Because that’s where Gimp defaults… and I don’t know how to change that. 😂

I clearly need a better system. I’m all ears if you have suggestions.

 

Me Being Me

It all started on a GeoCities webpage…

In that last year or so, I have neglected my website. I used to blog nearly every day. That was a long time ago and before I started writing fiction. back when blogging was actually my out and one of my few connections to the world.

I was living in a small, conservative town where even the mayor’s wife was considered an outsider after having lived there for 25 years and being the #1 childcare within twenty miles. They were my neighbors, and it wasn’t until we were packing our house into a moving van that she shared that with me.

We lived in that small town for five years. I had my daughter there, who was born a sickly child. Being a new mom is already isolating, but being a “stranger” in town made me even more isolated. I was glad to put that place in my rearview mirror and head back to the city, where I currently live.

But writing about my daily life as a mom, a woman who had her career aspirations put on hold to care for a kid who lived in the hospital for a year, well, it saved my sanity.

I started writing on a GeoCities website. Who remembers GeoCities? It was mostly to keep family and friends abreast on my kiddo’s current medical crises because, trust me, after spending twelve hours in the NICU or PICU, the last thing I wanted to do was talk on the phone to the twenty people who wanted updates. This was long before CaringBridge was a thing, but this was my mini CaringBridge.

If I had any foresight, I could’ve been rich. LOL.

Anyhoo, eventually the updates about health turned into me writing about everyday adventures with my adorable little girl who said the darnedest things. Blogger came along at just the right time, and in 2003, I was one of the first people to sign up to use it. I went on to have a successful “mommy blog” before mommy blogs were a thing and was there at the inception of all that. I look back now and think, “Wow!”

I blogged for years but always about real life stuff. It wasn’t until 2009 that I made the leap over to fiction. And it was a huge leap for me. I hadn’t written fiction since the 80s. Everything since had been academic writing, fact regurgitation, meta-analysis, summarizing, my fricking master’s thesis, which I wrote while hugely pregnant.

And then I fell head over heels in love with MM romance. It wasn’t known as that to me back then. It was Slash, taken from the fanfiction usage of word meaning sexual relationships between characters of the same gender.

I miss that word. I really connected with it for some reason. And lemons. 😉

So I wrote a lot of slash. With lemons. Lemons are sex scenes, for the uninitiated, and the more pucker power, the better!

I wrote probably over a half million words in a year. Not too shabby. Then I saw one friend after another get a publishing contract. I decided to see if I could make it too. Afterall, nearly all of the fanfiction I wrote was AU and AH (alternate universe and all human), so I was already writing my own plots, not relying on storylines or tropes of the original. I rarely wrote anything that resembled the original aside from characterization.

That’s where my learning curve really happened. I’d written characters the fanfiction readers already loved so I didn’t have to try too hard to make people fall for them. I just had to come up with a great story idea and go! That doesn’t work at all for original fiction. You have to make readers fall in love with strangers, or they’ll toss your book aside. It’s not an easy feat, and the shift can be a hard one for many authors making the leap.

So writing started for me as a way to connect with the world, to feel as if I was no longer alone in my isolated little town. Ironically, writing has turned me into an isolated hermit. I rarely climb out of my shell anymore. 🐚

I taught for 16 years and was in super social job. I met with 75 parents a week plus their kids and all my coworkers. It met most of my social needs for years, but a few years ago, I quit my job to take on writing full time. I ended up taking editing jobs to pay the bills between book releases, and last year, editing became my full-time gig. This year, I’m doing my best to balance the two jobs. After all, I no longer have to leave my beloved characters to go teach a lesson on potty training a toddler or whatever my lesson was when I worked as a parent educator.

It was potty training a LOT of the time. Even when it wasn’t supposed to be about potty training, parents turned the class into “Help! My kid won’t use the toilet!” *sigh* See why I quit? After 16 years of potty teaching, I was done!

Now I work at home in my pajamas. Many days I don’t bother getting dressed. I drink more coffee than is probably recommended by physicians and I sit on my duff far too many hours, but I’m happy. I love my job.

The only disadvantage is that I am back to living in a bit of a bubble. Now I have to force myself to leave the house, to get involved in local groups, take classes, meet new people.

So I hope to write a bit more here. Just for fun. Not fiction but to connect with readers, to do the things I used to do way back when I first started blogging and ended up meeting some pretty great people. And my fanfiction community, well, I’m still friends with many of those people. Real life friends now. 😀

So, join me? Feel free to ask me any questions. Anything you ask, I’ll try to incorporate into a future post.

My Novellas, Playlists

Playlist: Love on a Battlefield

I haven’t created a ton of playlists for books I’ve written. Part of that is that it’s impossible for me to write while I’m listening to music. Music was truly my first language. I was picking out notes on a keyboard from a song I just heard as a toddler and was composing before I could write. So my attention goes to music before anything else. It’s a soul language to me, as cheesy as that sounds. Haha. But music truly speaks to me in a way words don’t.

As I wrote Love on a Battlefield I kept wondering what music Andrew and Shep would be listening to throughout the story. Which songs or lyrics would make them recall what they shared in the middle of a cornfield when they first met? What would pull them back to those two days that transformed their worlds?

A lot of music landed on my playlist before I had to cull it down to the essentials. I think what I ended up gives a great feel for these men.

1. Owl City – “I Found Love”
2. OneRepublic – “Counting Stars”
3. The All-American Rejects – “Dirty Little Secret”
4. Panic! At The Disco – “Girls/Girls/Boys”
5. twenty øne piløts – “Can’t Help Falling In Love”
6. Fall Out Boy – “Sunshine Riptide” (ft. Burna Boy)
7. The Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
8. Panic! At The Disco: “This Is Gospel”
9. Green Day – “Still Breathing”
10. Calum Scott – “You Are The Reason”
11. Imagine Dragons – “I Bet My Life”
12. Fall Out Boy – “Hold Me Tight or Don’t”
13. Panic! At The Disco – “Ready To Go”
14. Green Day – “Ordinary World”
15. Justin Timberlake – “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”

Ask the Author, Me Being Me

Ask the Author

Over in the QRFFC we’ve started answering some reader questions. I thought I’d share my answers here as well. If you’d like to read other author’s answers, come join the group.

Queer Romance Freebie & Fan Club

AsktheAuthor#1

I’ve always been writing, but the shift from writing just for me to being willing to share my stuff was transformational. I have journals from high school that I’d die if anyone ever read them. Teen angst dripping from poorly constructed poetry. I wrote academically for years and always found regurgitating facts settling but boring. It was a means to an end: degrees and a career.

I’ve always preferred creative over academic, though it is a hard way to put food on the table. I’ve been songwriting since I was a toddler. I wrote and performed a song for my senior class in high school. Haha. I forgot about that until just now. Music and lyrics were always my things, and poetry fit too. I wrote ad copy when my husband was in advertising. Theme songs are a pastime at our house, so every car, pet, and person has a song that goes with them that fits their personality. 

I’d wanted to write a novel from as far back as I can remember, but I truly thought it would be a memoir. I have some crazy stuff that has happened in my life that reads as fiction, so I thought that would be it. One book and done. And about the crazy that I’ve lived through.

But a decade ago, I was very ill and bedbound. I read a lot, since that was about all I could manage. The urge to write a romance novel finally took root enough that I had to follow through. The characters begged to have their stories told, so it was less about me deciding and more about characters deciding for me that I had to write.

Free, Uncategorized

Strong & Sexy

I’ve been so busy getting Love on a Battlefield ready for its release February 20th that I’ve been remiss in letting you know about this awesome book. It’s filled with chapters and starters from the authors of the Queer Romance Freebie & Fan Club.

Strong-and-Sexy-Kindle-400x600

Queer Romance Freebie Fan & Club is a Facebook group with over 2,300 members where fourteen romance authors share freebies, sales, new releases, and competitions.

The authors involved in QRFFC are often asked which books they would recommend as a place to start. So, we came up with this idea to create books you can download onto your own e-reader with first chapters, buy links, social links, and news. As times goes on, we will release more teaser books incorporating various genres.

Strong & Sexy is the first of these taster books.

Stories included in Strong & Sexy are from authors N.R. Walker, Keira Andrews, Eli Easton, Jay Northcote, RJ Scott, V.L. Locey, DJ Jamison, Leta Blake, Posy Roberts, Jamie Fessenden, Annabelle Jacobs, and Amber Kell.

Best of all, it’s #free. Get your copy today!

Posy’s PayHip

Download at the QRFFC

Uncategorized

Word of the Year

Last year I commissioned a small token with my word of intent stamped into it. This was from My Intent Project, and my word was Infuse. Essentially, I wanted to ensure that whatever project I was working on, I was infusing it with goodness and purpose. I wanted a word big enough to fit writing, parenting, editing, crafting, and basic living, something I could be mindful of in nearly everything I did.

IMG_1204.jpgI think I did okay with the work. I could’ve done better since some of the year I was infusing stress into everything. 😂

I bought medallions for myself, hubby, and my bestie last year with words we’d all talked about. There’s a huge chance I’ll be doing so again.

Last night as the New Year ticked closer, my bestie told me her word for 2018 is Release. It’s a great word for her as she will see her oldest leave home for college, let go of objects in her way, and work past those issues that stick to her like glue.

This morning I talked to hubby about his new word. His will be Focus. He means that more as a focus inward but also assessing situations so he can see what he controls and doesn’t control. He can’t leave work when it gets overwhelming, but he can go and buy a cup of coffee from his favorite place if he realizes he’s stressed.

We grew up in stoic German/Scandinavian Lutheran homes. Thinking about your own feelings didn’t matter unless they were out of control, so this will be a great word for him on his path toward self-improvement and happiness seeking.

I’m stuck on my word. As much as I’d like it to be Write or Keep Writing, all I can think of is that coming out as scolding, which would lead to pressure and possibly me refusing to write.

I want words to pour forth. I want words on the page. I want words already on the page so I can mess with them and make them better words.

Maybe Write Words? Perhaps I need two words for 2018.

I’m not one to do resolutions, at least not in the form of SMART goals. For those who don’t know: Specific, Measurable, Attainable or Action-Oriented, Realistic, and Timely.

pexels-photo-285173SMART goals are great for short-term things or changing bad habits into good ones, but I really love the Word of the Year for a general focus. It’s not zeroed in like it would be with a zoom lens or SMART goals. It’s fuzzy, more like bokeh. I know what it is, but I don’t need it to be crystal clear to envelop my world. In fact, I think it helps hold my focus on what’s important at that moment while enhancing everything around me.

Have you used words of intent before? Have you heard of the My Intent Project? If you were to pick a word for 2018, what would your word be?