Monday, December 31, 2012

My Anniversary - Want Books?

It's been a year since I was first published. Well, a few days from now. I'm doing a rundown of what I've been doing in 2012, but for now I'm doing a giveaway. I debuted on January 4th 2012 with Hot Hands, and A Life Without You was released on the 13th. Both books became ARe bestsellers and both were received well. Here's to hoping for another great year of 2013!

For this giveaway, I'm offering an e-copy of each to TWO winners (the winners get both books):

For weeks, college student Casper has been the victim of sail-by goosing and groping. The problem is that Casper would very much like to get more than groped by those wonderful, big, hot hands.

With a journal full of clues, he sets out to discover who his mystery groper is. However, he may be in serious trouble once he discovers the ominous identity, trouble that has nothing to do with the light bondage involved.

Jesse's like a bar of soap: the tighter Adam holds on, the faster Jesse slips away. Or that's how it feels to Adam. It doesn't help that Jesse has a girlfriend back home and claims to be straight, but there's no way with all the sparks and physical intimacy flying between the two roommates.

When Adam believes he has reached his ultimate happiness, the bedroom walls come crashing down with a visit from Jesse's girlfriend.

Now Jesse has to decide if he can come to terms with his sexuality, while Adam has to learn to accept that Jesse might never be able to crawl out of the closet.

Technically, my free read, In His Pocket was my very first release on January 3rd, but that doesn't count as a debut. I also have another free read out, if you want to sample my writing: Half-Baked Promises (direct download link to pdf, mobi, and ePub).

What you have to do to sign up for MY contest is to leave a comment with your email address. Please state that you're only signing up for the grand prize if you're not interested in reading gay romances, to give the others more chance to win. Though, of course, I encourage everyone to read at least one gay romance in their lifetime ^.^

If you're interested in following me, here are my hang-outs: Facebook, Twitter, Newsletter, Goodreads, and there's a blog follow button to the right. You don't have to do any of this to be counted in the contest! This is just if you're interested.

But there's more! This is a part of a larger hop with over 200 participants: New Year's Blog Hop. There's a grand prize for everyone who comments. The more blogs you comment on the better are your chances of winning any of these:

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet (International)
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card (International)
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! (US only)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Elf Tossing

Just popped in to wish you all merry Christmas! 
For you who celebrate it, of course. I'll post before New Year's, so for now this is only a Christmas greeting.

Here's a fun Elf Tossing game for you! Took me about six tries to get it right, but I'm going to play again. So funny, hehe.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Erica Pike: Survivor and Nominee

I'm a Mayan Apocalypse survivor! Good thing I read all those post apoc books and had all these survivor skillz. Okay, you're probably sick of hearing that by now, but I really AM looking forward to 2015 since there'll be hover boards and self-drying clothes. Go McFly!

I didn't plan to just joke around all day (even though I'm technically a day late for that). I stopped by to announce that a bunch of my books have been nominated for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group's 2012 Member Choice Awards:

Best Short Story
Best Debut Book
Best Enemies to Lovers
Best Story that Should/Must have a Sequel
Best Sex Scene (When Casper and Hot Hands have sex in Casper's room)

Best Friends to Lovers
Best Coming Out Story
Best Gay/Out for You Story
Best Side/Supporting Character (Eric)
Best Tear Jerking Scene (When Adam broke down)

Best Book of the Year
Best Contemporary Story
Best Couple/MCs (Eric and Alex)
Best Sex Scene (Eric and Alex's first time)

Best Free Story

Best Humorous Story

The polls are open, if you want to go vote for your favorites. 
Loads of great books on those lists.

One last post apoc joke:

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fantasy vs. Sci-Fi vs. Post-Apocalyptic

Those who know me know that I love Post-Apocalyptic stories. I also like the odd Sci-Fi, but it's the Post-Apoc I'm in love with. Post-Apoc stories, however, can be very hard to find. Publishers/retailers usually don't separate them from Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

First off, Sci-Fi and Fantasy just don't belong together as a genre. They very rarely bleed into each other. If there's a magical element in Sci-Fi, it's usually because of aliens, genetic enhancement, radioactive infection and whatnot. Sci-Fi almost always takes place in the future whereas Fantasy (kingdoms, elves, dwarves, dragson etc.) almost always take place in the "past" (or it's built upon Medieval times with very little modern or futuristic technology at hand). I assume the two were put together in one genre for being "otherworldly". Although this may have been the original reason when Sci-Fi and Fantasy were relatively new in literature, there are thousands upon thousands of each available today, so it's high time to separate the two. Lord of the Rings and Star Trek is NOT the same genre. 
A good example of a Sci-Fi is A Solid Core of Alpha by Amy Lane that happens in space, with holograms, space station and space travel. There are no aliens, but aliens aren't a must in Sci-Fi. A good example of Fantasy is Scorpion by Aleksandr Voinov that happens in a world that has never been our Earth, and yet it doesn't happen in space. There aren't any magical elements, which shows that Fantasy doesn't have to be about magic, but it has different sets of rules and kingdoms. A more traditional Fantasy with an elven kingdom among other things is Counterpoint by Rachel Haimowitz.

What I understand a little better is why Sci-Fi and Post-Apoc are thrown together. Both usually take place in the future. However, there's usually a difference. While the two may bleed into each other, mixing a ruined earth with space travel, Sci-Fi usually happens in space while Post-Apoc almost always focuses on Earth after a catastrophe. There may be scientific elements in Post-Apoc, but if it's a story about people on Earth struggling to live in an environment with very changed set of social rules, it's Post-Apoc (also often known as Dystopia). At least these are my definitions.  

Post-Apoc and Dystopia are very often the one and same. However, they can be different. Post-Apoc can take place thousands of years after most of humanity died and there's a new and better world. That's not a Dystopia. Dystopia is when the social rules or living conditions are negative (Dystopia is the opposite of Utopia). 
A good example of a Post-Apoc is 18% Grey by Anne Tenino where the USA has been split in half after a war, one half being accepting of GLBT; the other not (there are more differences, basically the more accepting one is more technologically advanced while the other half is deteriorating). The story has technological advancements, but it's not Sci-Fi per say, since it's just further development of our technology and not something as big as time travel or warp speed. Another is Marked Yours (Sentries series) by Elizabeth Noble, where the Earth got ruined with volcanic eruptions that killed and destroyed. The USA is split into new parts, one of which has a tradition of master/slave relationships. This is a very thought-out world Noble has crated, but instead of being technologically advanced, it's reverted back to old times with horses and such. It has paranormal elements, but that's Paranormal, not Sci-Fi, so it's a Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia/Paranormal.

Since I'm on the topic, Alternate Universe is not the same as Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Post-Apoc, or Dystopia. Alternate Universe is when something happened in our time, on our planet, that has changed something so dramatically so that our world today is different. It's also known as parallel universe. Characters are living in a world today after the Soviet Union won the Cold War back in the 1990's, or the Chinese took over the world in the 1800's and the world language is Chinese and everyone lives differently, or Kennedy was never assassinated. World hunger was resolved a hundred years ago - the world would be different today if it was. 
A good example of an Alternate Universe is The Starving Years by Jordan Castillo Price, where world hunger ended in 1960. 

Then what about Fantasy vs. Paranormal vs. Urban Fantasy? Generally, Fantasy takes place in a made-up kingdom, with kings, knights, dragons, elves, and whatever other things a fantasy kingdom needs. Paranormal takes place in our world, usually in our time. Those are vampires, werewolves, fey, angels, etc. Urban Fantasy vs. Paranormal is more difficult to differentiate, and I kind of think people are splitting hairs with this one (kind of like separating Dystopia and Post-Apoc), but a definition I heard while I was still reading YA Paranormal was that Urban Fantasy was basically Paranormal, only it happened in cities. I don't know if that's the correct definition, but it's what I heard. 
A classic example of a Paranormal is Rules are Meant to be Broken by N.J. Nielsen, a book about vampires. A good example of Urban Fantasy would be Ink by Isabelle Rowan, about a demon in the city of Melbourne, Australia. (Both of these take place in Australia, actually, but there's no big city backdrop in Rules are Meant to be Broken).

It really bothers me to have to go through Fantasy titles when I'm looking for Sci-Fi. It also bothers me to have to go through Sci-Fi titles to find Post-Apocalyptic. Come on, retailers and publishers, make it easier for us to find the books we want. 

I was lucky to stumble upon a list on Goodreads called Gay Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopic. I'm currently working my way through the titles there, but if there's a new Post-Apoc book out? I'll have to wait for it to hit that list, because I won't be able to find it on the retailer sites under a Post-Apoc listing. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Purrrfect Winners

I've randomly drawn the winners from the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas Blog Hop:

The winner of the Boston Boys ebook + SWAG is:

Ashley Applebee!

The winner of Little Stalker + SWAG is:

Anne Brooke!

The winner of the College Fun and Gays ebook is:


And that's it for this year!

Happy holidays to everyone ^.^

Friday, December 14, 2012

Want Purrrfect Books for Christmas? SWAG?

It's that time of year again: Christmas! I'm taking part in the Purrrfectly Giftastic Christmas Blog Hop. Don't forget to check our all the other 140+ authors, a lot of them fellow m/m authors (they're marked as such).

I'm sure you have a lot of jumping to do, so I'm keeping this short. In order to win one of prizes, just leave a comment along with your email address. If you're interested, you can follow me via Twitter, Facebook, GFC (follow button to the right) and my newsletter. This is not a must if you want to take part in the giveaway though.

Want a free read? Half-Baked Promises is available on Goodreads in pdf, mobi and ePub.

Here are my prizes:

1. SWAG pack + a Boston Boys ebook (winner's choice). SWAG includes:
- signed character cards from Erica Pike, Karenna Colcroft, and Cherie Noel.
- signed post cards from Erica Pike, AJ Kelton, Robert Moore, Kim Fielding, Silvia Violet, SA Garcia, Victor Alexander, Shira Anthony and Venona Keyes.
- signed bookmarks from Erica Pike, Ethan Stone, Robert Moore, and Deanna Wadsworth,
- other little bits and unsigned SWAG.

2. SWAG pack + Little Stalker in e-format. SWAG includes:
- signed character cards from Erica Pike, Ethan Stone, and Cat Grant.
- signed post cards from Erica Pike, JP Barnaby, Poppy Dennison, Marguerite Labbe, BA Tortuga and Julia Talbot, William Cooper, Tracie Ingersoll Loy
- signed bookmarks from Erica Pike, J.P. Barnaby, and Jeff Erno.
- other little bits and unsigned SWAG.

3. A College Fun and Gays ebook (winner's choice).

You can read about each book by clicking their pages in the bar above, or by clicking the images to the left. Here are quick summaries.

Boston Boys:

Adam is in love with this straight roommate:

Flamboyant and fabulous Eric throws chooses Mr. Right for Mr. Wrong, now he wants Mr. Right back:

College Fun and Gays:

Casper has been a victim of sail-by goosing:

Teacher Daniel doesn't want this deal with student Troy to end:

Harley has a strange arrangement with the guy on the other side of his wall:

Closet-case Coby has a cute little stalker:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Want Little Stalker?

Hi guys :)

Little Stalker is up for grabs at Stumbling Over Chaos. You have until December 20th to throw your name in the hat for a chance to win. 

The December hop begins tomorrow. I still haven't decided on the prizes, but they'll be good.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Life Without You: 4.25 Stars from Rarely Dusty Books

I don't share every single book blogger review here on my blog, even though I link them all to the book pages. However, I wanted to share this one from Rarely Dusty Books. I used to visit Goodreads every day to check for reviews, but over the past few months I only go at the end of the month to look (checked the November reviews just now, for example). Well, this review really caught me off guard and I think I must have looked a bit comical as I read it.

Rarely Dusty Books - 4.25 stars: Jaw-Dropping Review.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Absoluely Eric: Rainbow Awards

Well I was thrilled yesterday morning when I discovered that Absolutely Eric had won an honorable mention at the Rainbow Awards. I didn't really believe it would win any categories, which it didn't, because there were soooo many great books in that competition. Over 480 books were submitted and 30 of those got an honorable mention for "One Perfect Score". It's basically one or more judge's favorites. This is what the judge, who gave Absolutely Eric a perfect score, said:

Love love love this one!! Eric was sassy and adorable, Alex was charming and they way they got together was smoking hot! I've already re-read this one and no doubt will again!! –Anna

Now, excuse me while I shower this entry in Eric and pretty rainbows ^.^ He sure would have loved this if he was real.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Little Stalker: 4 Stars on Hearts on Fire Reviews

Wow, I didn't expect to get a review so fast. I sent out a few requests this morning and one's already up! Hearts on Fire Reviews gave Little Stalker 4 stars along with their excellent review. It's always exciting to see how the first reactions are. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Release Day! Little Stalker by Erica Pike

Closet-case and college student Coby is being stalked by a cute guy...

Little Stalker (College Fun and Gays #4)
by Erica Pike
College student Coby is being stalked by a young guy and has no idea why, until someone suggests that the stalker may have a crush on him. The idea both excites and terrifies Coby, who is so deep in the closet he can barely manage to think the word “gay” without freaking out.

He flinches from my touch and backs into the wall, but I follow and thread my fingers through that kitten-soft hair, pushing it aside to see the fading bruise.
Who would do that to him?
As Grayson looks down with flushed skin, his cheek brushes the inside of my palm. He jerks to a stop and holds his breath, just as I hold mine.
Without thinking about it, I lay my palm further against his skin, taking in the warm, soft feel of it. It’s like touching a girl...but still different. His skin is smooth, but there’s a thin line along his jaw that feels rougher, like a hint of stubble.
“Have you ever kissed a guy?” I ask in a low voice, shocking both him and myself with my words. But instead of trying to reel them back, I gaze down at his lowered face. Ray’s words this morning flash through my mind. ‘Just because you’d fuck him it wouldn't mean anything.’ I've been half horny all morning...
He sucks in his lower lip and licks the upper one with the tip of his tongue. It makes my whole groin twitch. The heat in my crotch is almost painful and the rest of my body feels numb.
“Yeah,” he whispers, still looking down.
“What’s it like?” I ask, my voice low and a little thicker than usual. “Is it different from kissing a girl?” It feels like there’s a vibrating rock in the pit of my stomach and its sending shocks to my rapidly beating heart. My fingers on his face tremble, and I’m breaking out in a sweat.
His gaze rises to meet mine, wide and pretty – eyes much too large for his small face. He licks his lips again, cocking his head to the side.
“ I've never kissed a girl,” he says in a low voice, chest heaving rapidly, red lips half parted.
Before I can even think to stop myself, I’m lowering my head, my trembling lips touching his very, very lightly. It’s not enough to determine if it’s different, but it feels soft and wet, and oh, he smells so good. His hair is a little damp after the rain, but his own natural smell... I touch my lips to his again, a little firmer this time, lingering, savoring the wet, ticklish feel that sends all sorts of sparks through my body. My head feels so light it’s like I’m not even in my own body anymore. Yeah, it definitely feels different from kissing a girl; it feels unreal.
We kiss more, each touch experimental, hesitant. My fingers barely touch his face and he trembles less than an inch from my arm.
When I pull back, I gaze in Grayson’s dazed eyes. They mirror my own hazy brain. The warmth from his body is like a magnet, trying to pull mine closer, and I gently position my hands on his hips. I lick my lips and step closer.
He meets me halfway when I bend down to kiss him again, sliding his arms up my torso to rest on my pectorals. He moans once, his mouth opens for my tongue, and my knees go weak with all the fireworks shooting from limb to limb. God, he feels so good. His tongue is thin, nimble, and so hot against mine it burns. He grabs my shoulder when it feels like he’s about to fall, and his other hand clasps the shirt on my back for support. I grab him, holding on tightly as I kiss him with tongue twisting, teeth clashing intensity, grazing his lips with my teeth and sucking on them. I hear myself moan into his mouth and him echoing with added whimpers and sighs. He feels so good.
I break away to rest my forehead against his, just to catch my breath a little.

Available at No Boundaries Press, All Romance eBooks, Amazon, B&N (and others soon).

Little Stalker on Goodreads.

Fun Author Chat at LRC Today

I'll be at Love Romance Café today with other No Boundaries Press authors. The purpose is to promote our books, discuss future projects, answer questions, GIVEAWAYS, and just chat and have fun :) I've already answered the first round of questions. There's news of Welcome Brother there among other things.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Next Big Thing (NSFW)

Welcome Brother (by Dan Skinner)

Bet you keep seeing that blog title all over, huh? Well, it's my turn ;)

Jessica Freely, whom I had the great pleasure to meet at GayRomLit this year, asked me recently if I'd like to be a part of this big thing. So what is the big thing anyway? It probably started with one person, who chose four people to answer the same questions, who each chose four people to answer the questions, etc. So it's probably a huge pyramid by now. I'm supposed to link to her blog and to the blogs of the four people I contacted. Well, the four people I contacted were either too busy or didn't want to take part, so I'm only linking back to Jessica.

What is the working title of your book?
Welcome Brother (College Fun and Gays #5)

Where did the idea come from for the book?
A photograph by Dan Skinner, titled Welcome Brother (he gave me permission to use that title). However, the story has drastically changed since then and isn't so much about kinky sex anymore (in fact, there's not much sex in it). It's about being in love with the brotherhood's leader and some issues of being gay in a brotherhood.

What genre does your book fall under?
M/M Contemporary Romance. More specifically, college romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
I can't think of any. This story is too short to ever be made into a film.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
When college student Kyler applies for a membership to the Nova Britannia Brotherhood, all he can see is their very intimidating leader.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by No Boundaries Press, hopefully at the beginning of next year.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A couple of weeks. I edit as I go, so it takes a bit longer. I then sent it to critique partners... and put it away for months and months before I took a look at it again. I'd been convinced it wasn't a good story, but reading it again I've realized that it is a good story, even though it just might offend a few people. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.
Hard to say. The other stories in the College Fun and Gays series? They all take place in college (the same college, actually -  those paying attention will see the occasional character from another story), but they're not really related in any other way, so they can be read in whatever order people want. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
Like I said, a photograph by Dan Skinner initiated the idea, but the story changed a lot since then. I actually own this photo (bought it from him and it's at the top of this post), but realize now that I can't use it for this story. Maybe I'll write a pure erotica to go with this photo, but it won't be in this series. Actually, I do have an idea for the plot...

What else about your book might interest the reader?
Kyler, the main character, is insecure about his speech. He has the "gay accent" - and this is why I think people might get offended - which isn't really a "gay" accent, just a speech pattern that some guys (gay and straight) have. As a new brother, Kyler doesn't want his sexuality discovered right away, because people don't often give him a proper chance if they know he's gay before they get to meet him. He's spent years coaching himself to keep the "gay" out of his speech, but slips up in front of the brotherhood leader. 

This part of the story was actually inspired by Zathyn Priest, who wrote a blog post about his "gay accent", a speech pattern he has, but doesn't want to have. I wrote a long author's note at the end of the story to explain this and why I put it in the story.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday Hop Winner

I've drawn and contacted a winner in the Black Friday Blog Hop. Congrats to:


You'll be receiving your choice of one of my College Fun and Gays along with SWAG.

The winner for the grand prizes has also been announced here.

Thanks for playing, everyone ^.^

Hop Against Homophobia: David Bahati, Author of Uganda's "Kill the Gays" B...

Hop Against Homophobia: David Bahati, Author of Uganda's "Kill the Gays" B...: In addition to yesterday's post about the "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda, there are excellent Youtube videos of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow's interview with David Bahati, the author of the bill. These are from last year when David Bahati came to the USA to try to find understanding among the Americans (as in, educating USA about the necessity of this bill).

(Please click the Hop Against Homophobia link above to see the videos).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Hop Against Homophobia: Witch Hunt in Uganda: "Kill the Gays"

Free stock photo by Jason Aaberg.

I'm re-blogging this message from the Hop Against Homophobia site. Please, please go there and sign the petitions to prevent this bill from passing - or if it passes, to take action against Uganda to try to force them to change their minds.

Hop Against Homophobia: Witch Hunt in Uganda: "Kill the Gays": ... a horrible bill is being pushed through the Ugandan Parliament and is expected to go into effect this December. They call it a Christmas gift to the Ugandan nation. The bill's been referred to as "Kill the Gays". This is not only terrible, horrible news for the LGBT community, but also disastrous to humanity and human rights.


Death penalty:

- to repeat offenders of homosexuals acts
- to people who engage in homosexual acts with a minor
- to people who are suspected of "aggravated homosexuality" and have HIV

Prison sentence:

- to those suspected of homosexual activity
- to those who do not report homosexual activity within 24 hours
- to those suspected of "promoting" homosexuality
- to anyone who aids and/or abets a homosexual (e.g. renting to a homosexual)

In addition:

- all people suspected of homosexual activity and arrested must undergo HIV testing.
- former residents suspected of homosexuality may be extradited and sentenced.

That's a witch hunt!