Happy valentines day!

As a YA gay romance writer, maybe it’s a good idea to post something for Valentines Day. I had this thought on Feb. 18. Depending on how you look at it, I’m either a little late for this year or very early for next year.

Pretend that I am saying one of two things based on your feelings towards this holiday. One: Aww, Valentines Day, so romantic! Two: What a stupid holiday designed to make singles feel bad and sell cards and chocolate.

Then either way, I want to add that I had chocolate covered strawberries on the 14th and they were delicious, which might be redundant because duh, they were chocolate covered strawberries.

Here’s a quote from One Little Lie that I have decided is related to love. It’s about a boy dating another boy, so it counts, but I think I had other image quotes that might have been more appropriate. I’m committed now though, so here it is:

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Reading!

Is live reading a thing like live tweeting? Let’s say it is because I’m going to talk about the book I’m reading, The Forbidden by Dante Cullen.

So far it’s dramatic as hell, which I mean in a good way. The main character Zac has just been cheated on and dumped and his broken heart will never heal, except it probably will because this is a gay romance.

First Impressions

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This is protagonist’s bestie and I immediately like her because she starts chattering as soon as she sees him. Barely giving herself time to breathe is such a real and relatable vibe.

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Seems like she’s a relatively minor character, but it’s another lady after my own heart. And yes, I know this blog is primarily M/M, so I guess this a friendly reminder that I am very bi.

 

Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week! — LGBTQ Reads

LGBTQ Reads has an awesome list of book recs featuring characters on the aromantic spectrum. Which is here:

Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week! This year, the celebration lasts from February 16th-22nd, and here are a whole bunch of books to help you enjoy it! (Representation is included/highlighted with each title, where I know it.) But before you even get there, I must mention the most important resource you’ve gotta know if you’re looking […]

via Happy Aromantic Spectrum Awareness Week! — LGBTQ Reads4

 

Sale! I don’t know what else to say!

My dog is tearing her stuffed elephant to smithereens while I try to write this post. She wants to play, so I get up to throw her toy, and then she promptly loses all interest. Until I sit back down at the computer. She’s such a cute jerk.

The next thing I’m going to say has nothing to do with the first thing, which is usually how it goes with me. One Little Word is on sale for 99 cents this week, so I’m posting about it like a sensible author.

The story is about two guys who must “date” For Reasons. As compelling as that summary is, I’m going to include an excerpt that may or may not actually be in the book. So it could be a sneak peek or it could be a deleted scene. Maybe a little of both? How mysterious and exciting.

Okay, Luke is a dumb jock who gets in trouble and thinks saying he’s gay will solve problems instead of creating new ones. And now he’s talking to the principal and a teacher about all this.

 ~

Luke

“Gay?” Principal Simmons frowned. “But you’re the captain of the baseball team!”

I nearly laughed. “Are you serious?”

The guidance counselor gave us a speech last year about “diverging sexuality,” something she claimed they did every year, but it happened shortly after Ryan Miller came out. There was a whole part about how there was no one way to be gay, just as no two people were exactly the same.

Yet the principal appeared skeptical about my confession. That was totally unfair.

I looked at Mrs. Sharp after the Principal still seemed confused.

She sighed. “What he means,” she tried, “is that this seems a little… convenient.”

“Yes, that’s a good point,” he agreed. “Personally, I had no idea your people could play sports.” He chuckled to himself. “Well, see, I’m already learning.”

“Do I really need any other ‘proof’ of why I’m not out yet?” I gestured to him.

While not exactly conceding the point, Mrs. Sharp also supplied no defense for his remarks. “Mr. Chambers,” she spoke evenly. “Why don’t you explain—”

“You can’t force a student to tell you about his sexuality,” Simmons interrupted. “I know that much.”

“Mr. Chambers,” she repeated, authority clear in her tone, making the principal shut up. “I’m not asking you to reveal anything too personal. Simply help us understand. Let’s see.” She straightened in her seat, a neutral expression on her face.

Trap, this was a trap, but one I couldn’t avoid.

“Perhaps you could share your perceptions of LGBTQIA culture?” she asked. “Or give us a general idea about the challenges a gay teenager may face in a small town?” The corners of her lips twitched, like she was laughing at me internally. “Who are your favorite queer icons?”

“Yes, wonderful!” Simmons sounded delighted. “Another learning experience.” He nodded at me. “Go on, son.”

Shitshitshit.

One Little Word is on sale now for 99 cents!

And now the story of this story

Because I am incapable of on topicing, first I have to say that the title I made up sounds like something Perd Hapley would say. He’s the painfully literal over-explainer and reporter from Parks and Rec for those who aren’t as Perd obsessed. Actually, maybe the title is an actual quote from him? Well, either way, totally intention on my part.

(The only way to improve on the perfection of Perd, in my opinion, is to know his actor is also a reporter in real life and he only plays reporters.)

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pic from reddit

The Story’s Origin Story

Fun fact, or at least one of those things, when I wrote One Little Word, I had no idea what I was doing. It was my first ever YA gay romance and the plot contained such depth and complexity. Just kidding, the original idea was this: so there’s this nerd. And then there’s a jock. And they aren’t friends but then they have to date for reasons.

How did I come up with something so original? Easy, I didn’t try to be unique! I wanted to use popular tropes. Plus, I was also counting on my complete inability to ever keep things simple to ensure the end result would be both familiar and unique.

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Needed a picture, so here’s one with a quote from the book.

Writing this, it sounds like I had a plan with this novel. When I wrote it, again, I had no idea what I was doing. Whether I’ve learned anything since then, who knows, but now I more confidently fumble my way along.

These observations brought to you by my attempts to make a print version of the ebook.

Extreme Makeover Book Edition

Someday I would love for all my books to have print and audio versions. Though, it’s hard to say when that mythical day will arrive. My current print efforts are being done with all the speed of an old, doomed gazelle at a watering hole.

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Another quote

The cool part is that the ebook is getting an update. New cover, expanded scenes, theoretically more editing. Which means, when One Little Word goes on sale, that’s a perfect opportunity to get the new edition, become acquainted with the series, or even leave a review. I’m saying all this as if it’s totally just occurring to me and not something planned at all.

The One Little Word sale is from, oh my god, I literally just looked it up, how do I not remember again? Okay, the sale is from Feb 16-23. The book will be 99 cents the whole time. Yay!

Also, if you have Kindle Unlimited, anytime before April is a good to check out the book. Or any of the books I’ve written. Since they are leaving the KU library. I have as much idea as you whether this will be a permanent change or not, which means I have no idea. Unless you have an idea, then you know more than me, so let me know? That would be kind.

The End

And now, I’m going to start as I began, with gratuitous Perd Hapley.

The Only Way to Improve Disneyland: Add More Dogs

Dogs are the best. They’re just like humans, except not really, and they’re much better.

Here is a picture, and video if you click the link, about a service dog combining work and play in an adorable manner. Okay, the dog looks like a golden retriever and is therefore automatically always adorable, but her trip to Disney World is extra cute.

Her name is Nala. I was proud of myself for recognizing the Lion King reference on my own.

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I’m less clear about what’s on her head. I know it’s supposed to be something, but no clue what. Possibly a mountain range. Whatever it is, I think the photo is improved because of it.

And if I knew why I found this picture so hilarious, I would explain it to you and myself. Maybe because she’s taking a tourist photo like she’s a people? No idea but it’s funny and sweet at the same time.

Almost every dog I’ve ever had loves car rides, so I guess the idea of a dog riding and liking an amusement park ride isn’t too far off but this still blows my mind. Also Nala is hipper than me because she has her own Instagram.

Sports!

I’m posting this the day after the Super Bowl. I feel like I should mention the Super Bowl, but as I’m writing this the day of the game and it hasn’t started yet, I don’t know what to say. Um… How about that game, huh? It sure was something. And that one commercial? So funny!

While I might be advertising myself as a loser depending on how the game goes, I hope KC wins. It took me a really long time to realize they made it all the way this year, but the Chiefs are my home team. Plus, I’m in the area this year, so it would be fun to see everyone go crazy. I wasn’t here when the Royals won the World Series, but the grade school my nephews go to cancelled school like it was a snow day the day after the game.


Anyway, every other Monday is when I post an extra from one of my books. This is from One Step Forward. Due to shenanigans, our hero Ryan finds himself stuck in a car with Joey, a member of the baseball team he has nothing in common with.

Ryan

With no other options, I guess I could learn about Joey. Desperate times. Maybe it would be fun? Didn’t believe that, but I couldn’t come up with something better to do. Okay, a question. Can you imagine anything worse than this? No, something easy. A warmup before the heavy hitting, Pulitzer prize stuff. A softball. Different from a baseball but don’t ask me how.

“How many siblings do you have?” I asked. Question transmitted, I waited with bated breath for the answer.

This is not a book review.

Reading a book takes me roughly 84 years. And then writing a review adds an additional 107 years to the process. So, like, I’m really slow. That’s the point. I finally finished Witch Eyes and while I don’t want to spoil you too much, here’s my overall impression. Are you ready?

It was good.

True story. Well, no, the story is about witches and other supernatural creatures, so I’m pretty sure it’s fiction. 90% certain. But I liked it, that part is true.

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I have heard of Philip Roth.

Okay, so this isn’t a review so much as it is, um. A general commentary on topics related to books and literature. How exciting!

If you want more information about the book, the author Scott Tracey described it as “Romeo and Juliet, but with boys. And witches.” What a badass summary.

Also cool, the author’s interests at the back of the book are listed as “villains, witches, and sarcasm.” I mean, if you were only going to like three things, those would be the three to like.

As I said, I’m done with Witch Eyes. Or at least the first book since its a trilogy. I started The Forbidden by Dante Cullen and may have it read by 2043. Stay tuned.

And Now For More Nonsense – I felt like I needed a header here

Have you heard about this newfangled invention that’s supposed to be all the rage? I think they’re called audio books. I really need to look into those. I’m not good at doing only one thing at a time, not when I could be doing two things. Did you know two things is more than one? Probably, if you can count.

Multitasking makes my ADD brain happy. Though because focus is a challenge, I’m not sure that splitting my focus between two things is very helpful, but it still makes me feel accomplished.

And now I have run out of all the things I intended to say and all the new things I found to say along the way. So instead of awkwardly saying bye, I’m going to end with a quote from Witch Eyes.

I highlight portions I like when reading, so I’m just going to use the first part I randomly scrolled to because I like it. Duh, what’s why I highlighted it.

I forced myself to finish my homework before considering plans to raise the dead.

Solid plan.

Now for the awkward bye. Bye!

What the internet needs: Uninformed Star Wars Opinions

Watching The Rise of Skywalker was torture.

Not because the movie was terrible, but I hadn’t seen the second Star War in this trio, so I had no idea what was happening for the first half of the movie. There were people I recognized along with my favorite squeaky robots and hairy alien monsters, but everything they were doing confused the hell out of me.

I mean, maybe skipping a movie wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it was for me. I hate not watching things in order. Do you know the reason books, movies, and TV shows have an order? So you follow that order! To not do so is anarchy.

In a galaxy far away…

When I saw the movie, it was before Christmas. I started typing this post in a timely manner… until I forgot about it, of course. I’m now aware that even if I had watched the movies in the correct order, I might not have liked RoS. Because no one liked it? Which is kinda a bummer because Poe, Finn, and Rey are great.

Anyway, I wanted to share this video of celebrities touching wild animals.

Movies and children don’t mix

I went to the movie with my nephews, who I adore, and who are worth not abiding by chronological order for. Of course this led to the other problem. In addition to not knowing what happened in the previous movie, I also missed a good chunk of the movie I was currently watching.

We got snacks for the show, again because I love my nephews and they are worth braving concession stand prices, even though I scream internally every time, but they still have to get up approximately 76 times during the movie. And then I have to go with them, and for some reason the movie theater thought it was a good idea to only have an exit on one side?

So of course, we were on the opposite side of the exit and we had to be jerks and cross the entire theater 76 times. But you will be happy to know that this is the best Star War ever. Well, according to my youngest nephew. It’s the best one he’s seen. He’s seen two.

Representation

Personally, I’m grateful to the whole franchise for allowing Hispanics into space. Don’t ask me why we weren’t allowed before because I have no idea.

Because I’m that person, who can’t just watch a movie and enjoy it, it was interesting to see how far we’ve come since the first franchise. The three leads were two non-white guys and a lady who was much less of a sex symbol this time around.

And it was, uh. Let’s also say interesting, okay. It was interesting to see how far we still have to go. As in, I did catch the background kiss between two minor women characters without knowing about it beforehand. I’m gay and that person, of course I’m going to catch it. But I was also aware Poe and Finn were a popular pairing and obviously making them officially A Thing would have been a million times better.