#RainbowSnippets Feb 25, 2017 – Snapshots – Dropping Quarters

I’ve joined the Rainbow Snippets group on Facebook. From their description: “Rainbow Snippets is a group for LGBTQ+ authors, readers, and bloggers to gather once a week to share six sentences from a work of fiction–a WIP or a finished work or even a 6-sentence book recommendation (no spoilers please!).” Pretty cool, eh? Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page and/or my Facebook profile while you’re over there checking out this fantastic group!

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Today is release day for Snapshots, my collection/box set of 11 short stories, so I’m going back to that for my snippet today. This one is from Dropping Quarters, from Luke’s 3rd-person POV:

Luke took a lengthy draw on his beer and followed his buddies to watch some pool. He saw a few Tigers uniforms among the players. He glanced around the room, but didn’t notice Cato among them.

Fuck him anyway. Luke had given him two openings and the man had shot them down. Fine, so he likely wasn’t Cato’s type—not the end of the fucking world. He wasn’t stupid, and he wasn’t going to make a third play for the man, either.

#RainbowSnippets


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About Snapshots

Whatever your romance reading preference — gay virgin, opposites attract, friends to lovers, or simply fun how-they-met stories — this collection contains a variety of sweet, contemporary, short gay romances, sure to make you smile.

Rewritten and re-edited, these stories were previously published singly and are available now in one collection!

Contains the stories: Cow Pie Bingo,  King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate (also available as a FREE single), Born to Be Wild, The Straggler, Now and Forever, Moving On, Moving Along, Dropping Quarters, Nevermore, Photo Shoot, Okay, Then (Vows Series, 1.5)

❤️ 💛 💚 💙 💜

Blurb – Dropping Quarters

Luke’s looking for love in all the wrong places. When he meets Cato at an adult video arcade, then again at his softball league game, Luke figures they might have something in common. Can Luke convince Cato that there’s more to him than meets the eye?

Click here for more information on the Snapshots boxed set.

Purchase Links

eBook

JMS Books, LLC | Smashwords | Amazon Kindle – Universal Link
iBookStore | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BookStrand
Blio | Google Play | Scribd | BAM! – Books-a-Million

Print

JMS Books, LLC | Createspace | Amazon – Universal Link
Barnes & Noble – BAM! – Books-a-Million – Book Depository

Projects, projects, projects…

What have I been up to lately? I have not yet started on a brand new story, but I’ve been busy, nonetheless.

As previously mentioned, I’m working on overhauling my earliest stories with an eye toward putting them up on Kindle Unlimited (then eventually all the distributors). The old versions have all been taken down. So far I’ve made progress on Snapshots, a collection of all ten of my early short stories. Some of them have needed significant updating.

Muscular Men, perfect body, abs, six pack. Strong athletic guy in jeans showing his abs. Bodybuilding, sport, fitness ,workout, active lifestyle concept.

It’s slow going, since I don’t think I’ll be able to concentrate on other writing projects until edits for To Love and to Cherish are done. That story is determined to dominate my thoughts until it’s completely in the can. Speaking of To Love and to Cherish, I expect to be able to show the cover and advertise a release date (beyond “sometime in November”) sometime early this coming week.

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But, as you can see, although I can’t seem to concentrate on words, I’ve been busy having fun making covers for the overhauled stories. The Dreams Do Come True series covers, below, are for the overhauled and renamed versions of A Dream Come TrueAnother Dream, and Dreaming of You. I feel like the extent of the updates justifies fresh names, although I’ll make sure it’s known in the listings that they are previously published stories so as not to mislead anyone.

I’ve purchased the rights for the royalty-free images, so those won’t change. Who knows, though…between now and when the stories are ready for release I may still fiddle with the effects and/or fonts. I’m pretty happy with them, though.

The images fit the stories well, I think. Wes is a doctor. Although it’s somewhat hidden behind the title, the model in the first cover has a stethoscope around his neck. Marty is a construction worker. Quinn is just a goofball.

How are these stories related? Why are they a series? Marty is Mike’s uncle, mentioned but not seen in the first book. The characters from the first story are revisited in the second. Trevor was Marty’s occasional boy-toy before he met Larry, but thought (or at least hoped) to be more. Needless to say, Trevor was a bit bitter when Marty ended up with Larry.

Since I’m reworking so many stories, I figured my website needed a little overhaul, too (restructuring under the “My Publications” tab in the menu, anyway). Hopefully you’ll find it logical and easy to navigate, since that was the goal.

What else? I’ve been thinking about ’Til Death Do Us Part lately, and how I’d love for it to be available as an audiobook. That option remains with the authors at my small publisher, so if it’s going to be done, it’s up to me. I don’t have the big bucks available to pay for producing it upfront, and–let’s face it–although the book was very well-received by most reviewers, it’s not popular enough sales-wise to attract a producer for a royalty split deal.

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Therefore, it’s author narrated or bust! I’ve been playing around with Apple’s Garageband app, and have completed a draft of the prologue. A few people are going to give me their valued opinions on that before I proceed. My voice isn’t particularly girly so I think it’ll be acceptable for an M/M story. I’m actually pretty happy with my narration voice, but I’m pretty sure one critique will be for me to work on better differentiating voices for the dialogue. I was hoping to distinguish them by playing with the effects on the tracks separated out for each character, but I don’t think that’s going to cut it. I’ve gotten comfortable with the app, though, and it’ll be a breeze to tweak passages here and there without having to redo entire sections.

Update: What I’m Doing…

It’s coming along. As I mentioned in a post a week and a half ago, my next project is to overhaul my self-published second editions. I guess it’s no longer my next project, it’s my current project.

I’ve now officially unpublished the books from all vendors. It might take a few weeks for them to disappear from all the Smashwords distributors, but it’s just a matter of time.

The overhauling process has only just begun. It’s been a while since I’ve had the gumption to reread those old stories, and I’ve got to say, it’s eye-opening. Clearly, I’ve learned a lot about how to properly tell a story since I first started putting words to paper.

I’ve only completed the overhaul on two of the short stories so far. The Dreams overhaul might end up involving some more significant changes affecting the storylines, but the shorts will remain mostly the same in essence, although the telling of the stories will be improved.

Born to Be Wild was the first to be reworked. Cute story…I really do like it. But, damn, it was one of my earliest efforts. Let’s just say that many changes were made to my wording choices. King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, on the other hand, was the last thing I ever wrote before my long hiatus. I’d already worked with the wonderful development editor (at that time) at Loose ID as I whipped Cultivating Love into shape. I learned so much from that wonderful woman. Anyway, I only tweaked maybe two dozen words in the King Kong short. It was already in fantastic shape. I still love that story.

I’m going to miss a few of the covers I’d made for the short stories. I always thought the Moving Along cover was cute, and I really liked the one for Dropping Quarters. The ones I was most proud of were King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate and Photo Shoot. Those were each made from three separate images…the backgrounds plus two forward images (as well as some fun with lighting and framing in Photo Shoot).

The apps I have now won’t allow me quite that much manipulation–or if they will, I haven’t figured them out yet–so I’m going with single images for the new ones. I’ve already had fun mocking up covers for those future releases, but I haven’t purchased the images yet. I’ll share them once I’ve made my final decisions and put them together.

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Plans

I’ve finished writing To Love and to Cherish, the story where Nash from ’Til Death Do Us Part gets his Happily Ever After. Look for it in November at JMS Books. I’ll share the cover and the specific release date when I have them.

So what’s my next project? I’m going to overhaul all my earliest stories and upload them to KDP Select, including Kindle Unlimited for however long that deal requires–90 days?–then I’ll probably upload them to all the usual distributors.

The books in question are my Dream series books (A Dream Come True, Another Dream, and Dreaming of You), and my short stories. Currently the Dream series books are together in a trilogy. I plan to separate them once again. The short stories are currently all being sold separately. I plan to put them all together into a collection.

I’ll remove their present incarnations from all the distributor sites probably some time this week. I’ll keep you posted on the status of the overhauls. It could be significant. I love all the stories, but I know I can tell them better now than I could when I first started writing.

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Once I’m done with that project I’ll start on another new story. I haven’t decided yet whether to give Nash a little more drama, possibly give Henry and Sam some more obstacles to overcome, or begin something completely new. I’ve got an idea or two brewing, so we’ll see. 🙂

Seductive Studs #04

The Seductive Studs Blog Hop is a weekly #bloghop for authors, readers, and bloggers of M/M Romance. Click on the blue froggy button located right below the snippet to hop around to this week’s other #SedStud posts. The posts should each include either: 100-150 word excerpt, review, or post about an M/M Romance in the works or already published.

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This week I’m going to give you 155 words from the opening scene of Dropping Quarters, a short story that was originally published as a Torquere Press SIP back in 2008, then after the contract expired, I reworked it a little and self-published the 2nd edition in 2009.

“No masturbating.” The sign on the door of the little room actually said that. Yeah, right. So why did the adult video arcade’s management keep a box of Kleenex in the room? To clean off the screen? Luke supposed the screen might actually need to be cleaned off after a client left the room, but only because he’d been jacking off.

The numerous sticky tissue wads on the floor either meant he wasn’t the only one completely ignoring the rule, or the clients in the room before him probably should have stayed home in bed with a humidifier cranked all the way up. Luke’s money was on the former.

Is that a roll of quarters in your pocket or are you happy to see me? Luke couldn’t help thinking of the mind-numbingly inane line as he pulled the roll out of his pocket. He cracked open the roll and dropped a quarter into the machine.

Don’t forget to click the blue froggy button to hop on to another Seductive Studs post!

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Luke’s looking for love in all the wrong places. When he meets Cato at an adult video arcade, then again at his softball league game, Luke figures they might have something in common. Can Luke convince Cato that there’s more to him than meets the eye?

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Dropping Quarters is a short story ( 4,732 words) with a 5-flame heat rating. The 2nd edition is available in eBook formats:

Smashwords – MOBI, EPUB, PDF, RTF, LRF, PDB, TXT
Amazon Kindle – Kindle Format (AZW)
iBookStore – iBook Format (EPUB)
Barnes & Noble – Nook Format (EPUB)
All Romance eBooks – EPUB, PDF, HTML, PRC, LIT
OmniLit – EPUB, PDF, HTML, PRC, LIT