#RainbowSnippets Feb. 4, 2017 – Now and Forever

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!

Rainbow

This week I’m posting another snip from Now and Forever (included in the upcoming box set, Snapshots), a little further along from last week’s post. No context needed, in Warren’s POV:

“More what, baby?” Darryl’s voice was husky as he pressed his hips against Warren’s backside. “You want this inside you?”

Warren wished he had the restraint to tease Darryl back, but his level of self-control seemed inversely proportional to the state of his arousal, and he was very aroused. “Jesus, Darryl…yes…fuck me, goddammit,” wasn’t much of a tease.

He got what he wanted, though. Darryl’s hands clamped down where Warren’s ass met his legs, lifting and separating in a way that would have made Playtex bra engineers proud.

#RainbowSnippets

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Blurb – Now and Forever

Darryl and Warren have been together twelve years when their home state of California legalizes same sex marriages. Darryl figures Warren should plan the wedding reception, but they disagree on how much party is too much. Darryl bites his tongue and gives Warren free rein, although he really wants something small and cozy. Will Warren be able to give Darryl what he needs?

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Click here for more information on the Snapshots box set.

Now and Forever first made its appearance as a Torquere Charity Wedding Sip on September 13, 2008, then reappeared as a self-published single on January 25, 2010. I took it (and the rest of my older works) down in the latter half of last year for a thorough overhaul.

Now and Forever will be included in a box set of all my short stories titled Snapshots, to be released at JMS Books, LLC on February 25, 2017. One story from the set, King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, will be released as a free single on February 18, 2017.

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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
* Born to Be Wild
* The Straggler
* Now and Forever
* Moving On
* Moving Along
* Dropping Quarters
* Nevermore
* Photo Shoot
* Okay, Then

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Snapshots Preface

I love short stories. Sometimes a brief “snapshot” taken from a couple’s larger story is all that’s wanted. The narrative of “how they met” is the focus of six of the shorts in this set—quirky tales ranging from meeting at a charity fundraiser, to college kids pranking each other, to a mishap at a XXX adult video arcade.

Also included is a story featuring a well-established couple’s wedding dilemma, a friends-to-lovers tale, a coming-out-of-the-closet drama, and a continuation short that follows one of those how-we-mets. Rounding out this collection is an account revisiting the main characters from my full-length novel, ’Til Death Do Us Part.

All of these stories are contemporary, although one has a bit of paranormal flavor to it. Heat ratings range from “fairly sweet” to “rather steamy.” Excepting the final story, all were originally written in 2008 and early 2009. One (“Photo Shoot”) started out as a prompt word ficlet that I later fleshed out to a more complete story. Each has received a thorough overhaul, some more extensive than others. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.

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Both Snapshots and the free single, King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, are available for pre-order at JMS and Amazon:

Snapshots Pre-order Links

JMS Books, LLC – eBook Link | JMS Books, LLC – Print Link
Amazon Kindle Universal Link

King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate Pre-order Links

JMS Books, LLC – eBook Link | Amazon Kindle Universal Link

#RainbowSnippets Jan. 28, 2017 – Now and Forever

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!

Rainbow

This week I’m snipping from another one of the short stories in my upcoming “boxed set” (Snapshots). This one’s from Now and Forever, in Warren’s POV:

(Warren) broke the kiss and sucked his way down Darryl’s neck, then up to his ear. “Tell me what you want, hon. You just want my hand? You want my mouth, or…” He trailed off, figuring Darryl knew how to fill in the blank.

Darryl growled and fumbled at the fastenings of Warren’s jeans. His actions spoke for him. He wanted what was behind door number three.

#RainbowSnippets

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Blurb

Darryl and Warren have been together twelve years, when their home state of California legalizes same sex marriages. Darryl figures Warren should plan the wedding reception, but they disagree on how much party is too much. Darryl bites his tongue and gives Warren free rein, although he really wants something small and cozy. Will Warren be able to give Darryl what he needs?

snapshots_400x600

Click here for more information on the Snapshots boxed set.

Now and Forever first made its appearance as a Torquere Charity Wedding Sip on September 13, 2008, then reappeared as a self-published single on January 25, 2010. I took it (and the rest of my older works) down in the latter half of last year for a thorough overhaul.

Now and Forever will be included in a boxed set of all my short stories titled Snapshots, to be released at JMS Books, LLC on February 25, 2017. One story from the set, King Kong vs. The Skinny Pirate, will be released as a free single on February 18, 2017.

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.

Old Covers Collage - 1148 x 600

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. 🙂