Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Re-release of SOLID EDUCATION-Expanded! Check out this hot excerpt!

Took a little while, but here's our boys, Gage and Derek, with an awesome new epilogue which may very well lead to future books with them and our favorite pup, Matty!

I hope you enjoy the new addition as much as I did! And if you haven't read this yet, you're in for a treat! <g>

Blurb: Gage Tackett comes off as a bad boy—detached and maybe a little dangerous. Definitely not Vet Sciences Professor Derek Paulson’s type. Which he tells himself, repeatedly, every time the other man attends his class.

Until the day he looks over to see Gage’s seat is empty.

When Gage arrives at Derek’s veterinary clinic with a frostbitten stray dog, the lines of their teacher/student relationship are blurred. Derek realizes his most difficult student has a few things to teach him.

Things he’s more than willing to learn.

“One of my favorites of this collection. It contained well developed characters and a tender storyline. The power struggle and the flirting between these two was HOT. Loved Matty and I was so happy that it ended as it did.” PrismBookAlliance "Celebrating Diversity Through Literature"

Contains first chapter from A Restored Man by Jaime Reese.


Slapping the book in front of him closed, Gage flashed Derek the smile he’d been practicing since he’d popped his first cherry. One that got strange men in bars all over the world to follow him to his hotel room with no blood left pumping to their brains.

“I get it. Thank you, Professor Paulson.” He rested his forearms on the table. “Ask me anything.”

Derek’s lips parted. He cleared his throat as his cheeks went red. “Ah…all right. I printed out a worksheet at the clinic for you. Answer the questions and we’ll see how you do.”

“What do I get for the right answer?” Gage asked, using his most innocent tone, one which was blatantly transparent.

“Behave yourself, Gage.”

“I’m trying, sir.”

“Try harder.” Derek pulled a few sheets of paper from his briefcase and set them in front of Gage. He pointed to the first question. “This should be easy.”

Gage took one of the pens off the table and uncapped it. Held it over the paper and gave Derek a sideways glance. “You never told me what I get.”

Throat working as he swallowed, Derek shifted closer to Gage and placed his hand on Gage’s knee. He looked around the practically deserted library and gave Gage a stiff smile. “Assuming you get a single one right? You will be rewarded.”

“Oh, yeah?” Okay, maybe this hadn’t been such a good idea after all. Gage couldn’t think with Derek’s hand on his leg. Fuck, he could hardly breathe. He read the question over three times before the words even made sense. He jotted down the first coherent answer that came to him.

“Not bad, but please show me you know how to use a comma.” Derek shifted his hand a few inches up Gage’s thigh. “Continue.”

A few more questions answered and Gage was breathing hard, jaw clenched so he could retain enough control to hold his pen steady. Derek’s hand was at the top of his thigh, and his fingertips brushed the base of Gage’s cock through his jeans. His brain had given up, and all he could think of was how much he wanted Derek to touch him. And not just because he’d passed the test. Just because he couldn’t hold back anymore.

“I can’t…fuck, let’s go back to your place, Derek.” Gage knew he was trashing all the progress he’d made. He was making it clear exactly what he needed from Derek. Right now. But he couldn’t help it. His restraint was shot.

Derek stood and made a sharp motion toward the stairs leading to the second floor of the library. “The microform room contains the fiche reader I used when I took chemistry. Few use the old technology, but I believe there are times when going back to the basics can be useful.”

“But I…fuck, man, I’m serious.” He could tell Derek didn’t get it. There was absolutely nothing in this library that could help him now. If Derek wanted to fool the few people who might see them together, they had to get out of here.

But Derek took hold of his wrist and met his eyes, not giving an inch. “Trust me.”

There was no one on the second floor, which wasn’t surprising since there were only a handful of people in the library. The door to the microform room was tucked away between a row of old law books. Inside there were wall-to-wall file cabinets and a large desk in the center of the room with several old-fashioned machines Gage assumed were used to read the ancient technology. He would do anything he could to understand his chemistry assignments, but this was a bit much. What could he possibly learn here that he couldn’t learn in a book or, even better, online?

 Hearing the door close and the lock click, Gage turned, chewing on one side of his tongue as Derek moved closer. The amusement in Derek’s eyes as Gage glanced over at the door and then back to him was unsettling. What the fuck was the man playing at?

“What happened to being discreet?” Gage put his hand on Derek’s chest, stopping him before he did something stupid like kiss him. Derek might be the fucking king of self-control, but Gage wasn’t.

Gently pushing Gage’s hand down to his side, Derek pressed against him until he backed into a file cabinet. He chuckled when Gage avoided his kiss yet again and settled on kissing his throat. “There’s no one here, Gage. No chance that we can be seen. It’s rare that anyone uses the fiche readers.”

“But what if someone saw us come in? What if—?” Gage closed his eyes and dropped his head back as Derek undid his jeans. His hand slid over Gage’s rock-hard dick and he laughed again. He didn’t seem the least bit concerned, but Gage would give him one last chance to reconsider while his brain was still somewhat functioning. He gritted his teeth and met Derek’s eyes. “You could get fired. Lose you tenure—”

“I don’t have tenure, Gage. I’m an adjunct professor, and I told you I’m finishing the year, and then I’m done.” Derek stroked him absently, his gaze never leaving Gage’s face. “We will be careful.”

“This isn’t careful.”

“Do you want me to stop?” A slow smile spread across Derek’s lips as Gage shook his head. “Good. Now close your eyes again. You’ve been a very good student, and I think you deserve more than a pass.”

Gage snorted, then groaned as Derek knelt in front of him. “This some kinky teacher/student fantasy of yours, Professor Paulson?”

“Not quite.” Derek rubbed his scruffy cheek against the length of Gage’s cock. “If it was, you’d be the one on your knees.”

There was no good comeback to that. Not that one was needed as Derek’s hot, wet mouth surrounded him. The slick pressure of Derek’s tongue against the underside of his cock made Gage’s knees buckle. He rested his elbows on the file cabinet for support and surrendered to the mind-numbing pleasure. Derek’s hands on his hips as he swallowed around him gave him the urge to thrust in, but Derek simply tightened his grip. Leaving no doubt as to who was in control.

Buy links:
Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo

Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to PROMOTE your book without looking like a USED CAR SALESMAN: PART ONE

This might not be necessary, but I figured I should mention what some authors are doing that make them come off as used car salesmen, telemarketers, or those companies that send out enough junk mail to create a life-sized, paper mache dragon in the span of a month.

Not that I've made one, but I totally could! ;)

There's a few examples I can use, so I'll try to be fair. I mean, no author is so obsessed with pimping that they begin every conversation with 'Well, in my book.' or 'You should check out my book because...'

I'd totally suggest you make finding these rare, sweet walking billboards a drinking game, but I truly value your liver.

Which sounded a lot creepier than it was meant to! lol

Anyway, picture this. Your phone rings. You ignore it, and then you get one message. Than another and another and another and...WTF? Pressing play, you all of a sudden have messages from different people in a group talking about SHAM PLOW. It's the greatest product in the world, so they're all chatting up a storm. There's message after message and your phone is warning you that your inbox is full.
Now, obviously you can have yourself put on a no call list and never ever be bothered by telemarketers, right?

Maybe, but some will still get through. Thankfully, they can't actually have you connected to mass group chats that you're not aware of until they've already gotten annoying.

But with a social media site like Facebook, it's quite possible.

And some authors have decided to use that ability to not only 'cold call' every single online friend they have with book promo, they consistently drag those same friends to events or groups with 'invites'.

I could get into how these 'invites' are worse than junk mail, but I don't wanna give a big ol' lecture about what not to do. Maybe it works for you and kudos. I never have and never will buy a book off a mass invite. Usually, I remove myself, and if I've seen the same name on the invite one too many times--this goes for groups, events, and GAMES; seriously, I'm so happy I figured out how to block those!--I'll just unfriend the person.

 But I'm not your audience, right? Who cares what I think?

Never EVER assume other authors aren't your audience. Just ask one how it feels when an enthusiastic greeting at an event turns into a 'Oh, so you're an author too?' followed by a rude dismissal.

Yes, that happens. Way too fucking often. Stop it, twatwaffles. You'll find other ways to make us hate you.

Since this post ended up a bit longer than expected, I'm going to be doing it in two posts. In the next post, I'll let you know what works for me when it comes to 'promo'.

I don't want to be the only one talking though, so I asked around for some book lovers to chime in on what gets them to check out your books.

Here's some readers who tell it like it is:

Dawn Edwards- I can be quite a cover whore. If it has an amazing cover it makes me one click.

Lyra French- I'm a blurb queen. If the blurb is poorly written, I'm out of there. And I do like an interesting cover. I read a book once (can't remember the title) and all it had on the cover was a smoking gun and a champagne glads with pearls in it. Totally read the blurb and bought the book.

Kimberly Morgan (editor @ Grammar Ninja)- Gotta have a good blurb! And if the blurb has spelling/grammar mistakes, it makes me wary about the book. Those things pull me right out of the story!

Mandy Marshall- To be honest there are three main ways I pick new authors to read. 1. Price, if it's cheap and sounds even somewhat interesting I will read it. 2. Book Convention, I read a book by every author who attends and have found lots of new favorites this way! 3. A friend recommendation will get me to look at a book.

Advice from some amazing, successful authors:

Heather Long (Author of The Wolves of Willow Bend)-The best things I've found to have readers check out your books is a compelling question to answer in your blurb and a story that evokes a lot of emotion. Frankly, write a good book, readers want to read it then they really want to read the next one. My thoughts on a blurb are very straightforward--I try to write them in a way that makes me WANT to write the book so I know the answer. And in turn, so the reader wants to know what happens too. It’s the same reason people want to see Captain America Civil War--we know it will be Tony versus Cap, but we want to know what happens. And how it happens.

Melanie Marchande (Author of His Secretary: Undone)- It's all about mindset. Read this book: Positive energy. Believe you can. Whatever your goals are, there's nothing stopping you. It sounds cliched, and it's not the ONLY thing you need, of course - everybody will tell you that you have to work hard, pay attention to the market, etc etc, and they're certainly not wrong - but at the core of it all, if you don't really believe you can accomplish your most far-fetched goals, you DEFINITELY won't.

Read reviews, but take them with a grain of salt. Understand where your voice is needed and where it isn't. Understand that readers are entitled to their own space to express their opinions that you don't need to invade. Understand, also, that almost every review (yes, even the stupid ones) has SOMETHING useful you can take away and use and learn from.

Above all, LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. If you don't, you will never get anywhere.

Susan Hayes (Author of 3013: The Series)- 1) This might be your dream job, but it’s still first and foremost a JOB. Set goals and deadlines and keep to them as much as you can. Learn as much as you can about the business side of the craft so that you can make informed decisions about your books, your contracts, and your promotional platform.

2) Social media is for being social. This means that if you want people to buy your book via that venue, you’re going to be selling yourself, not your story. You don’t have to rule every element of social media, but you will need to be present and you should make sure that every image, photo, post, and tweet conveys a positive message. Be professional. Be pleasant. Your goal is to be the sales associate everyone knows by name and seeks out the moment they hit the store, not the used car salesman everyone avoids making eye contact with.

3) Try to resist the urge to compare your career path to someone else’s. Your journey is unique to you. Someone will always be doing better. Someone will always be doing worse. Luck plays a role in this gig, so don’t let it frustrate you when you’re struggling, and on the flip side, don’t let a little good fortune make you think you’re bulletproof.

4) Reviews. Read them. Glean what lessons you can and then walk away. Don’t let the glowing ones go to your head, and don’t let the brutal ones destroy you. Under no circumstances ever respond or acknowledge a review, good or bad. Stay out of the dragon’s lair, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The WORDS are there and you're NOT going anywhere. Take a DEEP breath.

There have been plenty of times I’ve needed to hear that. Plenty of times where those simple instructions seemed the hardest thing in the world. What’s a deep breath gonna do? When things are a mess, when it all goes to hell, why tell me to do what I gotta do anyway?

Well, because sometimes it’s the only thing you CAN do. It won’t make anything easier, but when you’re rushing around trying to fix everything, you end up breathing hard and fast and not in a good way. While you scramble around struggling to make the world make sense, you’re usually gasping for air.

Today’s post is a response to seeing a lot of people stressing out. For good reasons, but at time the negativity can really drag you under. Believe me, I know.

Rather than depress myself talking about HOW I know, I figured I’d address one of the issues I’ve seen coming up a lot lately, and that’s authors feeling the need to write enough to stay relevant.

Seeing this breaks my heart because, the way I see it, after you’ve put a book out there, after you’ve shared the artistry of your words and your stories, there’s no way you can become irrelevant. You’ve accomplished a certain immortality that few ever manage. Your words will live on forever.

Maybe that sounds like poetic nonsense, but for me, there’s something soothing about it. I could freak about pushing back deadlines and not writing enough. Gods know I get my share of hatemail over both. As I posted recently, I’ve had my moments where I could honestly say getting a job asking ‘Would you like fries with that?’ would be preferable to knowing I’m disappointing so many people because there’s no machine to make what I do go faster.

But that’s what makes art so precious. We hear again and again that our books aren’t our babies. That they’re a product and we have to learn to let them go and not take offense when critics tear them apart. Which is good advice, if only for our sanity.

For our creativity? For the words that never seem good enough? For the fragile muse who can be shut down by the most cruel critic?

And the cruelest critic, as we all know, is the artist themselves. If a hundred readers write angry letters about how long a book is taking, you can guarantee the author’s told themselves the same thing a thousand times. And wasn’t as polite as the most ignorant troll.

So what I suggest is this. Take a step back if you need to. Yes, this is still a job, and for those like me who live off our work, we can’t retreat too far. But we can get enough distance to make it just us and the words, if only a little while. To fall back in love with reading and writing and the passion that got us this far.

Enough distance to take a deep breath. And keep going.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

There Are No Gay Players In The NHL Series-The Strain on Gay Collegiate/Pro Hockey Players by V.L. Locey

Is there anything more crushing to the human spirit then to have to deny who you truly are? Imagine being an artist living in a culture where your peers frowned upon painting. Or, perhaps you love to write but society hated and scorned authors. Maybe you love floral arranging but your family detests flowers. Or, just maybe, you collect dolls but your church is vocally against doll collecting.

I suppose some of you will scoff at the comparisons above by saying that collecting porcelain dolls is very different from having sex with someone of the same gender. True, it is, but the hatred against those who are different is the same. Being ridiculed and ostracized because of whom you love is part of a debilitating cult of masculinity that so many athletes in this country are forced to deal with. It`s hard for adult gay and lesbian athletes. Try to picture the strain of being a young adult and having to face this kind of abuse.

It is a well-known fact that gay teens are three times more likely to
have suicidal thoughts and twice as likely to suffer from depression. Now, add in the burden of being part of a team playing a sport you love but being terrified of someone finding out that you're gay. There have been countless reports of hate crimes committed against LGBT youth by people their own age. Gay teens grow into gay men. It is time to stop letting homophobia rule the locker room. There is so much more that needs done. We can't stop pushing for acceptance now that marriage equality is the law of the land.

We need to start raising young boys with a new set of rules. We, the parents and coaches of the future NHL players, need to teach boys that being open-minded, tolerant, and loving is what really makes a man. Teaching love and acceptance starts young. Maybe someday, if we do a good job now, future players won't have to worry about coming out and the aftermath of shame and scorn that announcement will bring. Maybe, just maybe, future hockey players will be able to show up and just play.

Wouldn`t that be awesome?

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. Locey

Long Change

Collegiate superstar goalie Boone Crockett seems to have the world at his feet. He’s rich, handsome, attends an elite college and is a hot prospect for the pros. Pity all that is a front for a deeply closeted and troubled young man.
All Boone’s life plans are shattered when flamboyant ex-figure skater Preston Gordon, an orange-haired twink, shows up to audition for the team’s mascot position wearing sequins, scarves and toe picks. His moves on the ice send Boone into his own pirouette of frustrated and reluctant desire.
As senior year progresses Boone slides deeper and deeper into a dangerous depression, Preston’s sensual strength the only thing he has to hold on to. If Boone can’t keep from plunging through the thin ice he’s skating on, it could take a twink to make the big save.

Two Man Advantage

Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.
Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.
But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.

Monday, July 27, 2015

There are NO gay players in the NHL-PART Two (Saku Koivu's reply in English and French)

Not the most flattering picture, but I'll never forget how excited I was to meet this amazing man. He signed a hat for me which I have locked away in a safe until I can get a special hat display. Might sound nuts, but I learned after my daughter lost half the team's signatures on a hat she accidentally mixed in with the laundry.

I may never get another chance to meet him, so I'm taking no risks!

So back to the interview! Again, here's the link if you'd like to watch it (Question at 39:00) :

**Credit to Jade Baiser for the French translation:

"In November, Mr. Molson stated in an interview with the Gazette that the Canadiens would welcome an openly gay player on their roster. As a former Hab, do you think the atmosphere in the locker room would make acceptance that easy?"

En Novembre, M. Molson a déclaré dans une interview à la Gazette que les Canadiens accueilleraient un joueur ouvertement gay sur leur liste. En tant qu'ancien joueur, pensez-vous que l'atmosphère dans le vestiaire rendrait cette acceptation si facile?

Saku Koivu:

"I know it’s been in the news also, in Finland and everywhere in the last few months and I strongly, strongly believe that yes. I don’t think it would be a problem. I know if that would happen it would bring up a lot of questions. But for players in a team I don’t see that being a problem at all."

Je sais que cela a fait la une en Finlande et un peu partout également au cours des derniers mois et je crois fermement que oui. Je ne pense pas que ce serait un problème. Je sais que si cela arrivait, cela apporterait beaucoup de questions. Mais pour les joueurs d'une équipe, je ne pense pas du tout que ce serait un problème.

Very straight forward. And exactly what a young boy or girl who loves the sport needs to hear. Female hockey players have come out, but our guys still aren't ready. Maybe this won't do much, but you never know. His words may be exactly what they need.

My next post will have a collection of links to some of the best posts I've found on the topic, as well as some information on gay players in other hockey leagues.

There are NO gay players in the NHL

Saturday, July 25, 2015

There are NO gay players in the NHL-PART ONE

I don't believe that. I don't think anyone does. According to some studies, 10% of the population is homosexual. There are aprox 690 active players in the NHL and 1500 contracted players.

You do the math.

Why is it that every other professional sport has had at least one player come out within the last few years, but hockey players remain silent? There could be many reasons, but my own experience leads me to believe the organization still has a long way to go. 

The media may be part of what's tripping them up.

To be honest, I didn't want to get into all this because I see the strides happening in professional sports and I tend to look at the positive. Players in different sports are coming out. The media is making it possible for them to reach the fans and show acceptance. The YOU CAN PLAY project is supported by some of the players I love.

Changes are happening. While doing research, I came across this special by TSN which is a must see:

TSN Original-Re/Orientation

So we're done, right? Gay marriage is accepted in the US. It's been legal in Canada for the past 10 years. Sports are catching up to equality everywhere.

Blinders aren't a fashion accessory anyone should EVER conform to. We still have a long way to go.

This image was put out there for 'International Day Against Homophobia'. Awesome, right? A visual to show how tolerant we are of people of different orientations. Quebec's beloved sport being shown in an image of support.

I hadn't seen this image until I did some research. And very few people have. According to this article, one of Quebec's biggest media outlets took it down that very day in their building:

Now, this could be completely out of context. Maybe the Quebec media is doing more than I know. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I have my own experiences making me wonder...

This past December, I took the opportunity as a First Line member of the Montreal Canadiens fan club to visit the Bell Center and see one of my all time, favorite players, Saku Koivu. Even before he won his battle against cancer and made strides in improving treatment in Montreal, I admired this man. I was thrilled just to get a chance to be in the same room as him. 

But, as an author who writes about hockey and is aware of the issues involving gay players, there was a very important question I needed to ask him. I knew if any player could make the statement that a gay player would be welcome, it would be him.

Here's the interview. I'll post a transcript of my question below since I know I made a mess of this. I won't quit my day job as an author and become a reporter! ;)

My question comes at 39:00

"In November, Mr. Molson stated in an interview with the Gazette that the Canadiens would welcome an openly gay player on their roster. As a former Hab, do you think the atmosphere in the locker room would make acceptance that easy?"

As soon as I can, I will have a transcript of his reply, but it was perfect. What every young player who may be gay needs to hear. 'You are welcome'.

Only...well, I hope the player is English. Because my question was the ONLY one not translated. And when interviews with Koivu are mentioned at all in the media, his very important message to gay players is ignored.

Now, to be real, I made a mess of that. I was nervous and maybe I didn't speak clearly, but even after the question was repeated, and Koivu answered, there was the same opportunity as with every other question for a translation.

So why didn't it happen?

I can't say for sure, but I do know one thing. I am a sports romance author. My books have reached over a million readers. Some of them have told me they never read gay romance until they picked up my books.

So I have a voice that can reach many. And I will use that hoping that there's one player out there that will hear me and know he is not alone. The charities and the media have taken a HUGE step to pave the way for that brave player who will finally come out, but there are still many obstacles. This blog series will confront many of those obstacles. I will have a transcript of the interview in English AND French as soon as possible. Other sports fiction authors will speak their mind.

Maybe my question was uncomfortable for the interviewer (who I believe is from RDS). I don't want to assume anything, but what I'd like to know is WHY? This was an opportunity to show how a legend in our organization felt about a very important issue.

My name didn't have to be used. I would have been fine with just his answer being out there for one young player to feel the support that's needed. Koivu is a man any talented player can admire. Let HIS words speak to them!

That didn't happen. So I will use my voice and get his words to the people that need to hear them. And hopefully, next time the opportunity comes, the media will grab it and make a difference.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Please don't make me WAIT!!! And...I'm gonna try! ;)

This question has been asked by quite a few people, so I figured I should address it here. I have discussed it briefly in the Cobra discussion group:

Not everyone is there though. You should really join! <g>

Anyway, the question is: 'Will we really have to wait until 2016 for the next Cobra book, Line Brawl?'

The answer?


The dilemma is that as much as I love our boys, I have several other projects going that I can't put off. Fans of the Deadly Captive books have every right to be pissed by how long it's taken to get the last book of the trilogy out. Many know why I couldn't put it out sooner, but that's irrelevant when it comes down to the fact that the book needs to get out there.

Celestial Pets is another book that's had some delays. Thankfully, I'll be releasing the full book in August. I'll have a pre-order link up soon so you all can grab it if you want. I love the book and I hope you'll all enjoy it as much as you do my other books.

BUT there's some good news on the Cobra front. Our easily misled rookie, Braxton Richards, will be getting his own novella, Neutral Zone Trap, as part of the Seduced by The Game: Cancer Charity Collection, starting in October. His book is set to be released October 7th, followed every few weeks by another release in the collection to raise money to support cancer charities connected to the NHL.

With all these projects, I can't say for sure when Line Brawl will come out, but I don't see it taking too long because I'm chewing at the bit to write Pischlar's book! It's going to be a massive one, probably closer to the length of Iron Cross, if not longer.

I will also be starting my new series about our sexy new Southern boys, which is why I'm so excited to be doing the Writer's Police Academy in August. I can't write unless I'm confident about the material, so I'm going to learn everything I can about law enforcement to make the lives of our Kentucky State Troopers as realistic as possible.

One thing I can promise is that if you love my work, you'll be getting tons of it this year! This year meaning hockey season, but you probably aren't all that surprised that my calender works that way. ;)

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments. I hope you've all enjoyed Goal Line and I'm looking forward to sharing many more books--both with the Cobras, as well as some new men I know you'll fall in love with--for a long time to come! And thank you so much for all your support! You guys rock! :D