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.