The Cutting Out blog tour continues

November 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Posted in Bottom Drawer Publications, Cutting Out, Promotion | Leave a comment
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The Cutting Out blog tour continues! Over the last few days I’ve been getting around the place with some interviews and blog posts. At all these blog stops, the giveaway is running, so don’t forget to enter! You can find the posts at the following links:

- I answer some great interview questions from Gen at SydneyGen Reads

- I talk about shearing competitions at Erotica For All

- The Novel Approach gets some of my gushing about Queenstown, plus some photos of the gorgeous Otago-region scenery

- The Aussie accent and slang is the subject of my blog post at Zipper Rippers

- I talk about the life of a New Zealand shearer at Hearts on Fire Reviews

- Finally, CJ Baty interviews me over at her blog. I manage to talk about my love of reality TV once again!

 

 

 

Cutting Out blog tour

November 11, 2014 at 6:31 am | Posted in Bottom Drawer Publications, Cutting Out, Promotion, Reviews | Leave a comment
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The title of this blog post kind of gives it away, but Stuff is happening, people! Stuff to do with Cutting Out! I am about a third of the way through a blog tour, where there are excerpts, giveaways, reviews, blog posts and interviews happening all over the place. So far there have been visits to:

Love Bytes Reviews, where there’s an excerpt and a giveaway

Book Reviews & More by Kathy has another excerpt (featuring the introduction of the thorn in Shane’s side, his mate Zach) and giveaway

Multitasking Mommas gives Cutting Out 5 stars in their review, and they are also hosting a giveaway

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, who gave Cutting Out a lovely review a few days ago. I stop in there to talk a little bit about the Christchurch earthquake and its aftermath, which features pretty heavily in the book. Melanie is also hosting a giveaway.

So feel free to stop by one of those places and take a look, and good luck if you enter the giveaways!

 

Meet the Character Blog Hop

October 27, 2014 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Bottom Drawer Publications, Cutting Out, Dreamspinner Press, Promotion | Leave a comment
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So I’ve been tagged by the lovely Nic Starr to participate in the Meet the Character Blog Hop, where those of us who are so inclined talk a little bit about the characters from our latest books. Nic introduced us to Dave Simpson, from her upcoming release A Day at a Time. You can read more about Dave in Nic’s post here. A Day at a Time will be out on October 29th, and you can preorder it from Dreamspinner Press here.

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Blurb

Sean Vargos is quiet, well respected, and dedicated to his job. But Dave Simpson sees Sean as more than a coworker. He’s fought his attraction to Sean for months but can’t get him out of his thoughts.

They tentatively embark on a relationship, but Sean isn’t all that he seems. He struggles to put his past behind him and overcome his fears.

Dave, with his good looks and open nature, accepts that sometimes Sean’s doubts get the better of him and he runs. Dave just wants the chance to show Sean he can be trusted and the past doesn’t have to dictate their future.

~~~

Now it’s time for you to meet Shane, from my newly released novel, Cutting Out.

What is the name of your character?

Shane Cooper, Coop to his friends. “That Aussie bastard” to people who are not his friends. :)

Is he a fictional or a historic person?

Most definitely fictional.

When and where is the story set?

Cutting Out is a contemporary romance set in New Zealand, mostly in the shearing sheds of various sheep farms across the country. Queenstown and Christchurch also feature.

What should we know about him?

He’s Australian, something that is rare enough in New Zealand that everybody constantly comments on it. He’s been in New Zealand for 10 years, after leaving Australia for reasons that he never talks about. He’s a shearer at the top of his game, earning the title of gun shearer without breaking a sweat. He turns 40 during the course of the story, and all he sees when he looks in the mirror is the grey in his hair and the crows feet at the corners of his eyes.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Meeting a young shearer by the name of Lachlan Moore. Fifteen years Shane’s junior, when we meet Lachie he’s a bit of a party boy, but then he suffers a personal tragedy during the Christchurch earthquake that changes his life forever. Shane wants to get to know Lachie more than he’s wanted anything for a while, but Lachie’s issues build a sturdy, almost-insurmountable wall between them.

What is the personal goal of the character?

To have a quiet, peaceful life. He’s ready to settle down and find someone who’s more than just a one-night fling.

Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

The book is called Cutting Out, and it’s available now from Bottom Drawer Publications

Cutting Out_200

 

Blurb

A twenty-year veteran of the shearing shed, Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job, and the home he’s made for himself in New Zealand. If he’s a little lonely, he’s got good mates to keep his spirits up. When a hot, cocky young shearer named Lachlan Moore catches his eye at a competition, he’s content to look but not touch, knowing the young man is out of his league.

Lachie wouldn’t mind a piece of Shane, but the gorgeous gun shearer from Australia is soon forgotten when the Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with it the best he can, cutting himself off from all he knows. A year later and he’s back in the shearing shed, out of practice and lacking confidence. That Shane’s there to watch him flounder doesn’t help his nerves.

As Lachlan struggles to re-acclimatise, Shane can’t resist giving him a hand to get back on his feet. As they move from friends to something more, Shane finds himself wanting to know everything he can about Lachie. But Lachie’s got secrets he desperately wants to keep, and when things come to a head, those secrets might just mean the end of them before they’ve truly begun.

~~~

Now to introduce you to the two authors who I’m handing the blog hop baton to. Both of these lovely ladies will be posting on November 3rd, so watch out for their posts. Enjoy the rest of the blog hop!

LJ LaBarthe (Blog: http://misslj_author.livejournal.com/)

A long-term friend of mine, LJ has just released Mythica from Bottom Drawer Publications.

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Blurb

Caiden Jones is part-selkie and lives an idyllic life by the sea in South Australia. He’s had his fair share of disappointments, like being kept out of the Navy due to his mythica status, but overall he’s got a pretty good life. Until he’s in the wrong place at the right time.

Cai steps in to subdue an out-of-control minotaur and in the process suffers a serious injury to his ribs. As Cai struggles to breathe, a gorgeous suit-clad sy’lph with mesmerising blue eyes races to his rescue. When it’s learned that the minotaur was poisoned, the sy’lph, Gray, makes it his personal mission to keep Cai and his family safe.

Cai has always harboured some resentment towards the sy’lph because of their easy acceptance into the community, so the attraction he feels for Gray takes him by surprise. But how can they find out what this might mean when the lives of Cai and his family are endangered by someone closer than they realise?

Renae Kaye (Blog: http://renaekaye.weebly.com/renae-blogs)

Renae is a woman after my own heart; that is, she likes to write about shearers. Her new release, The Shearing Gun, is available from Dreamspinner Press.

ShearingGun_300

Blurb

At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.

Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything permanent. As if the constant threat of being caught isn’t enough, Elliot’s contract runs out after only a year.

Cutting Out release day

October 12, 2014 at 12:28 pm | Posted in Bottom Drawer Publications, Cutting Out | Leave a comment
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Cutting Out is now on sale! You can pick up a copy at the following places:

The Bottom Drawer Publications website

Amazon

All Romance ebooks

Barnes & Noble

Bookstrand

Kobo

Smashwords

I hope you enjoy it!

Cutting Out: Extended Edition is Coming Soon

September 28, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Posted in Bottom Drawer Publications, Cutting Out, Novel | Leave a comment
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Well, it’s been a while, chooks, since I have posted here and also since I have had a new release. But I am happy to report that the novel-length version of Cutting Out now has its very own Coming Soon page at Bottom Drawer Publications, and a release date – it will go live on October 11th, not even 2 weeks from today.

Those of you following along at home will know that Cutting Out originated in short story form in the Blokes in Love anthology, that was released at the end of last year to commemorate the very first Southern Hemisphere M/M writers and readers meetup. Since that time it has been substantially expanded, going from a 13,500-word short story to a 78,000-word novel. The short dropped you right in the middle of Shane and Lachie’s relationship; the novel gives you the lead-up to it as well.

For those who don’t want to click through to the link (there will be an excerpt up on the publisher page soon, but given I am still neck-deep in galley proofs for it, that day is not today), here is a peek at the cover, and also the blurb. Please enjoy:

Cutting Out 450x675

 

A twenty-year veteran of the shearing shed, Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job, and the home he’s made for himself in New Zealand. If he’s a little lonely, he’s got good mates to keep his spirits up. When a hot, cocky young shearer named Lachlan Moore catches his eye at a competition, he’s content to look but not touch, knowing the young man is out of his league.

 Lachie wouldn’t mind a piece of Shane, but the gorgeous gun shearer from Australia is soon forgotten when the Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with it the best he can, cutting himself off from all he knows. A year later and he’s back in the shearing shed, out of practice and lacking confidence. That Shane’s there to watch him flounder doesn’t help his nerves.

 As Lachlan struggles to re-acclimatise, Shane can’t resist giving him a hand to get back on his feet. As they move from friends to something more, Shane finds himself wanting to know everything he can about Lachie. But Lachie’s got secrets he desperately wants to keep, and when things come to a head, those secrets might just mean the end of them before they’ve truly begun.

 

Interview at LJ LaBarthe’s blog

April 8, 2014 at 8:36 pm | Posted in Promotion, Writing | Leave a comment
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You would think that after more than 10 years of friendship LJ LaBarthe would have run out of things to ask me about, but she has not! So there is an interview with me over on her blog, where I talk about writing, story locations, and my favourite place in the world.

The post is here – feel free to come over and say hi.

Sometimes you have to see it with your own eyes

March 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Posted in real life, Writing | 2 Comments
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Some could argue that in the age of the internet, with Google Earth, Google street view, Flickr, etc, that you don’t have to visit a place to write about it. I know of authors who have written novels set in cities that they’ve never set foot in, and I’ve done it myself, never having visited Kalgoorlie and its surrounds, where Eyes Wide Shut and Rust Red: Galvanized are set.

No one’s ever picked me up about any location errors in those books; still, set something in a real place and it’s always a risk that there’ll be something you miss. I almost made a location error in Whitewater – there were plenty of photos of Wylie’s Baths, the place where Luke goes for his daily swim, online for me to look at, beautiful, atmospheric photos that showed me that Wylie’s was just what I wanted in a beachside pool for Luke. But what none of the photos I saw online showed me, what I saw when I got there, was that the pool was graduated, less than ankle deep at the land edge and only about 3 feet or so deep at the sea edge. The photos also failed to show me the big “NO DIVING” warnings painted on the concrete along each of the pool’s edges. Originally I did have Luke and Cam diving into that pool, but in the finished book they walk in, because to remain faithful to the reality of that place, they couldn’t dive.

Now, obviously there is room for poetic license, and writers do that all the time; I made up a whole town in Equilibrium, and made space for a bakery and a beachside café in Coogee for Whitewater where there is no space for those things in the real Coogee. Sometimes, if you need something to be there you just plop it down where you need it and all is right with the world.

Having said all that, if you can visit a place, it’s usually an advantage. Lake Pupuke is a freshwater lake in the middle of the North Shore of Auckland, formed in the craters of two volcanoes (yep, volcanoes). A lake in a volcanic crater sounds like a place where some paranormal happenings might take place, does it not? Observe:

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OK, admittedly, the bright, sunny day makes it look like the best place ever for a swim, but people have drowned there, so…yes. We will see what happens. :)

Cutting Out: the novel, and other lovely things

March 9, 2014 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Free fiction, Writing | Leave a comment
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Despite suffering the catastrophic meltdown of my main laptop on Friday night (it died and is dead, never to be backed up again – thank god for Dropbox is all I can say), I have managed to update my Coming Soon page with the news that Cutting Out, the novel-length adaptation of my short story of the same name, will be out mid-year. So yay to having something new out relatively soon!

In the meantime, I will be occupying myself with another freebie, because I accidentally tripped and fell into the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s annual member prompt frenzy. I didn’t mean to, because I do have other things to write, but when you’re confronted with something that looks like this:

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how can you possibly resist?

Reader, I couldn’t.

The prompt that goes with the post is this, from the lovely Donna:

This is my life… by day I walk on land and I am as human as the man standing next to me… but by night… the water calls to me and I must return to it… all I have ever wanted is a man who would love me for who I am… both day and night…

I would only ask for a story… as beautiful as this photo

So it gets even better. I have Plans for that young man, is all I can say. If having to survive for the next 2 weeks on my very non-grunty netbook until my replacement computer arrives doesn’t kill me first, anyway.

Links, AKA: the world is a strange and wonderful place

January 17, 2014 at 6:38 am | Posted in News, real life | 2 Comments
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Morning, tiddlywinks. I’m on holidays now, I don’t go back to work for 10 days. I am delighted by this prospect. I have been up since 6.30 am, which is not really what people like to do on the first day of their holidays, but the reason is fairly simple: I have an overseas visitor arriving tomorrow, and a novel to finish by this afternoon. Both those things will definitely happen! If it kills me.

But while I sit here and wake up enough to dive into the world of manly men who shear sheep, I bring you some news items from my part of the world, for your reading pleasure.

These first two fall under the category of “It’s a wonder any male in Australia is still alive, that’s how dumb they are”:

A naked man got stuck in a washing machine and was freed when the firemen called to the scene covered him in olive oil

I mean, what can you say about this one. Firemen covering people in olive oil sounds like the start of a porn film I’d like to see, but really, those poor firemen. I’m quite sure they don’t get paid enough for that.

A Queensland man put a budgie cage on his head and went swimming with a tiger shark

Moron. The video of it is ridiculous. The worst part about it is that man is married. His poor wife.

As for hilarious happenings in New Zealand:

A customer pissed a Southland baker off, and got a poo cake in return

Fortunately not a cake made of poo, but a cake made in the–very realistic–likeness of poo. It had a little sign sticking out of it too, but I’ll let you discover what that said on your own. The two best things about it was the baker was entirely unrepentant at having done it, saying that client “deserved what she got”, and the comment of someone from the Chamber of Commerce in Southland, who said, “This time of year people get a bit stressed”. Fantastic.

Why yes, a member of Frankie Goes to Hollywood does live in Auckland, thanks for asking 

Don’t think that everyone I know who was a teenager in the 80s hasn’t considered staking out Oneroa to catch him down the shops. Including me.

Books I enjoyed in 2013

January 5, 2014 at 11:19 am | Posted in Books of the year, Reading | 2 Comments
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Since 2010, one of my first blog posts of the year has been a list of the books I read in the previous year that I particularly enjoyed (see the tag “books I enjoyed“, natch). I usually go with about ten-ish, but this year I glommed one series in particular, so grouping those books together will probably skew the numbers somewhat. But let’s not get fixated on that! On to the books. These will be presented in the order I read them, because that’s how my Goodreads list is organised and I can’t be bothered changing that.

As always, don’t expect much of a review. For some of these, you should expect incoherent fangirl gushing. And a fair bit of all caps. Buy links are added for your convenience.

Fettered by Lyn Gala

A young man goes to a BDSM club because his brother’s a sadistic rapist and he wants to find out what makes him tick, and lo and behold, his life is changed forever.

BDSM in books often doesn’t work for me because I am such a strong-willed person that the idea of submitting to anyone – or having anyone submit to me – is unfathomable and makes me want to vom (that is not an invitation to explain the lifestyle to me, by the way. I am really not interested, life is short and I don’t care). But circumstances led me to this book, and I started it and it was fine, Miss Dolphinia showed up and that was interesting, Dylan, fine, Vin, fine, whatever, and then BAM! I HAD to know what was going to happen IMMEDIATELY. So I stayed up until ridiculous o’clock to find out, and it was worth it.

Crucifox #1: The Green-eyed Monster by Melanie Tushmore

The trials and tribulations of a British rock band as they make it big throughout the 80s and 90s, doing many idiotic things along the way.

Oh, those boys. Having been heavily involved in the Sydney rock scene in the 90s myself, this was like looking at a reflection of every idiot I ever knew who played in a band back then. Turns out that stupid boys in bands needing their heads banged together is an international phenomenon, so there you go. I enjoyed this heartily, it was very real to me, and I did want to smash their heads together many, many times, but Christ on a bike, how I loved Brandon. He is hilarious.

Cambion: Dark Around the Edges by Cari Z

Originally released as a series, it’s now available in a single volume. This book is extremely difficult to summarise in a single snappy sentence, but holy shit did it hit all my buttons. Angels, demons, main characters who can do their jobs with their eyes closed, one who’s desperate to be loved for himself, and one who loves and is desperate to hide it. Scorchingly hot sex as well. I adored it. I can’t wait for there to be more of it. I will be there ordering the season pass with bells on.

The General and the Horse-Lord by Sarah Black

Two military men who’ve been together for 25 years try to find out where they fit, both in the world and with each other, now they’ve left the service.

This book polarises people, because one of the MCs is married, and has been cheating on his wife with the other MC for the entire span of their marriage. Part of the book deals with the marriage breakup. If that’s not a no-no for you, then this book is a masterpiece. John and Gabriel belong together, and they are fantastic. They are warriors, with so much history together, and all of that comes through. I loved this. And I have to say, I don’t generally have a preference for character age in what I read, but these two were nearing 50, and they dealt with their issues like grown-ups. That was nice to read.

Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala

A human called Liam trades with an alien called Ondry. Liam thinks they’re friends, but he discovers that Ondry wants to be a lot more.

I am leery of things set in space. The fact that I’m a scientist puts me off anything that might contain a lot of hard science, because a) fictional science is generally unbelievable and implausible, and b) ugh, boring, might as well be at work. But I had already read and liked other things by Lyn, so I picked it up, and I enjoyed it immensely. Ondry is an alien, and he acts like one. A lot of this book is these two trying to bridge that cultural gap. I loved that. I also loved the tail sex. How often can you say you’ve read a book with tail sex in it? Not very often.

Merman by KZ Snow

The vampire Clancy Marrowbone tries to stay away from Purim province, and a certain Simon Bentcross, but finds he just can’t manage it. Hijinks ensue.

This is the second book in KZ’s Mongrel series, and I have to say that I LOVE both books. LOVE THEM. They are fantastic, the world is interesting and unique, the characters are incredibly likable, I just adore everything about these books. Mongrel made it onto my “books I enjoyed in 2011” post, and I’m sure that the third book, Machine, will make it onto my “books I enjoyed in 2014″ post. LOVE. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I love Fan. Every time Fan punches Simon in the mouth is a personal highlight for me.

Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews

AKA the Kate and Curran show. Life-sucking, sleep-depriving vortex of addictiveness.

I picked the first book in this series as an audiobook from the library for a lark. I’d been told that it was OK, but that the books got better as the series went along, and that is 100% true. The first book was fine, I enjoyed it, but it was nothing special. I picked up the second in audiobook as well, and had to muffle laughter at several points so as not to look like a lunatic while out in public. I had the third book to listen to when I went to Sydney for the Oz M/M Meet in October, and it was lucky that I had 3 hours of plane flight to occupy myself, because I could not stop listening to it. Could. Not. Stop. It was SO GOOD. And also hilarious. I snort laughed many, many times, in public, like a lunatic. When I got home I snapped all of the books up in ebook form and burned through the last three in the two days afterwards, emerging at 3am at the end of book 6 bleary-eyed and wild-haired, and had to go to work on 3 hours’ sleep and attempt to function. I will be picking up book 7 immediately upon its release WITH BELLS ON.

Hotter than Ever by Elle Kennedy

Bride who just got dumped at the altar accidentally sees her almost-brother-in-law pashing (that’s Australian for kissing, Northern Hemisphere people) his boyfriend. When she finds herself staying with the two men, she discovers they aren’t only interested in men.

This is part of Elle Kennedy’s Out of Uniform series, which don’t really need to be read in order, based on my experience. In short, this is an absolutely scorchingly hot book about the formation of a threesome. SCORCHINGLY HOT. I enjoyed it immensely. I read one of the others in the series as well (Feeling Hot), which I also enjoyed (and not just for the voyeuristic M/M scene either), so at some point I will be reading the rest of them.

Pretty Poison by Kari Gregg

Noah’s a wolf who is permanently disabled by an accident when he was young. Wade is the alpha who claims him as his mate.

Wow, did this book hit all my shifter buttons! The tough “weak” character, the outwardly tough alpha who is secretly awash with insecurities and kindness…this was great. Again it had non-human characters who didn’t just act like humans, and scorchingly hot sex scenes again. There is a sex scene that involves knotting that practically singed my eyebrows off, it was that hot. Holy crap. Highly enjoyable. I loved it.

And that concludes the summary of my 2013 reading journey. Here’s to some equally good books in 2014!

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