Friday, January 27, 2012

Interviewed at Shelter Somerset's Blog

I've been interviewed by Shelter Somerset's blog: 
While you're there, be sure to check out the other interviews too. 
Thank you, Shelter Somerset!

Purchase World on Fire from Dreamspinner Press

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cover art for Water Waltz!

 I got my cover for Water Waltz! I love the colors! I'm now more excited about the release than before.
Created by the talented Paul Richmond!
Paul Richmond painted it. He did my first cover as well. I was happy to hear he was assigned to Water Waltz. He does beautiful covers! Thank you, Paul Richmond, for another beautiful cover. 

Available February 13:
In a land where humans are enslaved as sexual toys, angels and demons are in constant conflict with their playthings. The demon Varun works with STAR, an organization devoted to human liberty, and it’s a never-ending battle.

Two years ago, the angel Triste broke Varun’s heart by choosing to be his butler instead of his beloved, giving Varun no explanation and no hope. However, that doesn’t mean that Triste will simply sit back and watch as Varun takes the human Elden under his protection, and Triste’s secret investigation will unearth terrible secrets, including the kernels of a pernicious plot.

Despite appearances, Triste and Varun are still in love, and Varun may well risk everything to protect Triste and discover why the angel left him heartbroken. But a still worse danger hangs over them as they seek to calm the threat of a catastrophic war.

But it from Dreamspinner Press.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Walking on Air

I hear the wind outside and I feel I need to find a blanket to warm up. This must mean I need to crawl away from the PC and join my puppy in the front room to save the cat. In an hour I’ll tally up the comments and draw the winners!  (That means you have until 6:30 MST to post) I’ll contact the winners by email if I can, or I will comment in the post alerting them.

World on Fire was written in 2010 after a trip to Seattle. Originally the forest featured in WoF was in Washington but for shorter train travel time I changed it to Colorado. While in Seattle I heard the song “Walking on Air” by Kerli and it greatly inspired this story. The song fits so well because it molded Cole’s story from the sound and lyrics. 
I wanted Lucian strange enough to forcefully pull Cole out of his shell without seeming like a bully. He ended up being just this side of crazy, but still loveable. Cole’s blushful reactions are inspired by a friend of mine. She’ll blush at the mention of shirtless men tennis clubs. (She might be reading this. Hi!)

Thank you for joining me during my second release. I hope I’ll have many more in the future. (Like Water Waltz in February)

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Comic Book Art

Continuing from the last post: are comics a form of art? There are many arguments about this. I believe they are most definitely created by artists so therefore, comics are art.

Not all comics are available through Marvel, DC, or TokyoPop (or any other known publisher). Many artists now post their comics online. These are free to read. Advertisements give the artists revenue, but if you want to support the artist/writer, some have the comic available in print you can buy and hide when the grandparents come over.

I’m going to share some of my favorites. All are M/M and 18+ unless noted. Let’s just assume no one should be reading the below links unless you’re allowed to be reading my novels.

Demon of the Underground by Shobana (aka Bob).
The art is pencil and Photoshop, and the details are amazing. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to art style and fairly picky about which comics I read, so trust me when I say the details are amazing.
The story follows Pogo—a thief who falls into an underground world. So far he’s met a ferret, been chased by guards, and met a mysterious man. The story is in chapter one right now so if you start reading today and follow each weekly update, you won’t need to catch up! Did I mention there’s a ferret named Annie? That’s always a reason to follow a comic.
Bob is also a Dreamspinner Press author. She’s published under Ana Bosch and her first short story is The Dragon Tamer. It’s out in February so check it out. I’m a fan of bittersweet Dreams titles so I’ll be reading it.

Starfigher by Hamletmachine.
I’ve met Hamletmachine at yaoicon and I still think she’s the sweetest person on planet Earth, and she draws 18+ scenes like a pro. Starfighter is set in the future and follows a pilot and his navigator. The sex between them is just wow, and the plot is really picking up after chapter two. Black and white art with a dash of color.

Sfeer Theory by Chira and Muun.
This one belongs in the category of “I’m not sure if this is M/M but it’s so pretty I don’t care.” If it is M/M, it doesn’t quite feel like it yet. (Other than Luca thinking the Prince is hotstuff) And so far, so clean.
I can’t really explain the plot on this one. Isn’t all that confusing, but it seems very hard to explain. It’s too multi-layered to wrap my head around in a single blog post. In a nutshell: Luca works as a lab technician at a school and he harbors the same magic ability the professors are teaching. The art is beautiful, the pages are colored, and the expressions are full of emotions.

Tea House by Emirain.
Finally, I don’t think I can post about M/M comics if I don’t mention this one. The plot might seem cliché—brothel, whores, and love—but the plot skates by those cliché ailments with finesse. The cast list is long, the pairings debated, and the drama flowing. The art is fantastic and every page is colored.

Lucian Thomas from World on Fire would probably be too scattered brained to properly maintain a comic online. and if he did, it would consist entirely of making fun of just how cute Cole is. And a lot of chicken. It's a good thing he's a painter.

Do you have a favorite comic online that I haven't mentioned here? There are many out there so give your favorite a shout out.

A few more links to M/M fixes:
Guilt Pleasure has short stories with illustrations. The artist is a professionally paid one so expect quality from these side projects of hers. Fair warning—the plot lines are dark and can be viewed as cruel.

TJ and Amal starts slow but gains ground. Two guys start a road trip and their adventures are chronicled for your viewing and reading pleasure. I enjoy the humor in this one.

Pick up World on Fire in the Dreamspinner Store and comment for a chance to win it on ebook.

World on Fire excerpt: lobsters

The object was dinner. At least that’s what Cole had been told. The live, twitching sea creature squirmed in Lucian’s grasp. The lobster’s claws were safely held closed by rubber bands, and there was quite a distance of safety between him and the lobster, but Cole still leaned away.
“You want to name it before you kill it?” Cole questioned dishearteningly.
Lucian turned the lobster to look at what Cole assumed would be the face area. “Naming this dinner does go against our discussion yesterday about speaking animals and being unable to kill dinner. Of course, this creature does not speak.”
“Or does it speak and you simply do not have the ears to understand it?” Victoria asked without moving her gaze away from the yard.
Lucian cast a look at her back. Cole saw the horrific surprise in the blue eyes spread to a soundless gasp. “I dare say.” Lucian placed the lobster beside the other on the island table in front of Cole, releasing his hold on both. “We’ll be having salad tonight.”
Cole stood up abruptly to avoid the lobster heading for him and to catch the other before it wandered off the end of the granite. “Lucian?” he questioned the artist just as he disappeared into the basement.
“What will you name your new pets?” Victoria asked.
“My pets?” Cole gasped. “I can’t take them.”
Lucian returned with an empty cardboard box, placing it on the table. “Forgive me for my ignorance.” He took one from the table and held it up, directing his statement to the face area once again. “I may believe you are not speaking to me, but I cannot understand all that I hear.”
If there had been any doubt left in Cole’s mind that Lucian was strange, this cleared it. “You’re keeping them as pets?” he asked after Lucian placed the one in the box.
“I can’t return them to the store for another as ignorant as myself to take them home to murder.”
“You can’t save all the lobsters.”
Lucian laughed appreciatively. “I don’t intend to, but I can’t kill what I eat.”
“But someone else will be able to, so—”
“You want to kill Wilcox and Becca?” Lucian interrupted.
“Who?” Cole asked, bewildered.
Pointing at the lobster on the counter, Lucian said, “That one’s Wilcox, and”—he nodded to the box—“that’s Becca.”
Cole looked down and laughed. “I didn’t mean to insinuate that I would boil them.”
“You think if I return them to the store and another fool buys them that they’ll be killed by that stranger instead?”
“I can’t allow it.” Lucian shook his head. “These two have been a part of my life, and I can’t allow another to murder them.”
Cole stared at Lucian. “They were a part of your life as dinner until just three minutes ago.”
“Your point, Mr. Saunders?” Lucian picked up Wilcox the lobster and smiled at it. He pinched one claw to hold it out. The other twisted in a desperate attempt at escape.
“My point is that you have no real connection to—” Cole dropped his sentence when Lucian moved away with the lobster. His steps toward Victoria were sweeping circles to the left, and…. Cole shook his head, astonished. Lucian was dancing a waltz with the lobster while moving into the breakfast nook.
“My dear Mr. Saunders.” Lucian danced himself over to Victoria and bowed before he handed her Wilcox. “I wonder what that face you’re making is for.”
Cole cleared his throat and smoothed his expression. I think you’re bordering clinically insane, Cole thought, but out loud he said, “Nothing.”
“I fear I’ve created an unpleasant feeling for you.” Lucian walked briskly across the kitchen to Cole’s side.
Cole leaned slightly away from Lucian, untrusting of the artist’s grin. “Unpleasant?” he questioned in a whisper and looked to the lone lobster in the box, fearing Lucian would have Cole dance with the simple creature.
“Jealousy.” Lucian clamped one hand down on Cole’s waist just as he took Cole’s hand in his other. Cole gasped in surprise and jerked away to free himself, but Lucian’s grip held strong.
“N-No, Mr. Thomas,” Cole said, using his free hand to push against Lucian’s strong chest. “I’m not jealous of anything.”
“You’re blushing so red I fear you might explode,” Lucian whispered in awe, studying Cole’s face. “And call me Lucian.”
Cole lowered his head, attempting in vain to hide the crimson heat racing across his face and up to his ears. “I don’t want to dance, Lucian,” he said softly.
Lucian released him. “I will get you to dance before you leave,” he vowed and took a step back, bowed, and turned to head around the island table.


You can buy World on Fire from Dreamspinner Press.

What is Art?

Art being such a large part of the world of World on Fire brings up a discussion about art itself. A term argued about from the start, there are many opinions about what’s considered art. People agree that paintings created on canvas with pol based paints are art, so Lucian is safe from any art argument. 
Definition from Wikipedia: Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect.
 Definition from The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture.
What if art uses unconventional ways to create? The above gives examples of paintings or sculptures, but what if the items used are uncommon for paintings or sculptures? Artists seem to constantly branch out of the “normal” and find new ways to express their visions. The definition of art must also branch out. It’s my opinion that art has no restraints.

There’s an artist who uses feathers to create sculptures. Kate MccGwire
Is one still considered a painter if the paint is date stamped? Federico Pietrella
Does the how matter when the end result is clearly art?

Photo by Deidra Hill
What if the end result might be something people find strange or morbid?
One artist has gathered quite the attention from a group here in New Mexico with her Snuff Stuffie creations. Not everyone can look at these skull plushies and see a cute critter, but I find sure do. Custom Cranium Gallery

Some art ends with a knife and fork. Eating the canvas or sculpture is the whole point to lavish cake designs. Many argue that food is not art. But there is clearly talent in many of cake creations. Like this Stormtrooper Cake by Amanda Oakleaf.

photo by
Is makeup art? I don’t mean the everyday fountain to cover blemishes. Lauren Schulte can create unique looks using makeup and talent. Be it an adorable look or a frightening monster—Lauren can create it. 

I’m no way an expert of conventional or unconventional art, but I’m constantly amazed by the creativity in others. These are just a few examples that have crossed my path or are a part of my life. Do you think the above isn’t art? What’s art to you?

World on Fire teaser # 1

Cole followed Lucian through the house and into his art room, choosing to stand by the door and watch Lucian move both covered easels and the tray of paint to the side of the room. Lucian stepped out into the hall, and Cole walked forward, wondering how Lucian would paint with the easel facing the wall.
Lucian returned a moment later with a blanket and a pillow. He spread the blanket on the floor, and dropped the pillow at one end. Cole raised an eyebrow. “What’s that for?” he inquired.
“Please lie down,” Lucian requested. He moved to the storage trays and opened a few drawers, gathering tubes of paint.
“I’m going to be on the floor?” Cole looked at the blanket. Was Lucian seriously asking him to be painted posed like that?
“Also,” Lucian said, turning to face Cole, “take off your shirt.”
“Take off—” Cole gasped. “You are not painting me naked.”
“I didn’t say remove your clothes, Mr. Saunders.” Lucian laughed, dropping the paints on the floor beside the blanket. “Only the shirt, please.”
Cole hesitated, studying Lucian’s face. He had to be kidding. “Why?”
“I’m not against removing it myself.” Lucian smiled warmly, and Cole looked away.
“I don’t understand—”
“You will soon enough.”
Cole sighed heavily, giving in to Lucian’s strange demand. He unbuttoned his shirt and removed it without returning his eyes to Lucian. “My boss cannot know,” Cole said.
“I don’t have any intention of telling a single soul about this.”
The calmness in his tone soothed Cole’s embarrassment. He nodded once and placed his shirt beside the blanket before sitting down. “Now what?”
Lucian kneeled down, placed a hand on Cole’s shoulder and pushed him back gently. “Lie down,” he repeated. Cole did as instructed, positioning himself on his back and fixing his eyes on the ceiling.
“You’re not known for portraits.” Cole gathered his nerves before they frayed by making conversation. “Do you paint many?”
“I’ve done three portraits.” Lucian squeezed paint onto a tray. “A good friend of mine in college was the first.”
“A friend?” Cole lifted his head to look at Lucian.
Lucian’s movements stopped. He chuckled and resumed spreading the chosen colors onto the pallet. “She was my very first friend, actually. She died before I could finish her portrait though. I finished it later, but she never got a chance to see it.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.” Cole searched for sadness in Lucian’s expression but found none.
“She didn’t go far.” Lucian tapped his brush into a jar of water, cleaning it.
“What does that mean?”
“Memories keep a person alive, do they not?”
Cole dropped his head against the pillow. “I guess so.”
“You are abnormally beautiful.”
Cole snapped his gaze back to Lucian. “What?”
“Your beauty,” Lucian said with a smile, “it is abnormal.”
Cole’s eyes widened. He was sure it was meant as a compliment, but it was a very strange way of saying one. He felt his face heat up and returned his gaze to the ceiling without a word of response. He had no idea how to reply to such a thing, anyway. Abnormal beauty? What does that mean?
“I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
Cole took a deep breath. “You hadn’t. I’m only confused.”
“You’re beautiful. You should know it.” Lucian straddled Cole’s legs. Shocked by the action, Cole sat up as much as he could.
“What are you doing?” He pressed his hands against Lucian’s shoulders, attempting to push him back.
“Relax,” Lucian soothed, taking Cole’s hand, and he eased his guest back down. “I said I wanted to paint you.” He sat up and touched the brush to Cole’s chest.
Cole jerked from the cold paint against his skin. “I didn’t think you had meant like this.”
“How else would I have meant it?”
“You are my canvas,” Lucian argued.
Cole tried to relax but could feel Lucian’s body over his. The sensation was nearly unbearable. Cole tried to calm his rapid heartbeat. He tried to take small breaths. He tried to ignore the excitement building just beneath his skin, where the brush touched. He failed.
“Are you quite alright, Mr. Saunders?”
“Honesty is the best policy.”
Cole laughed lightly. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.


You can buy World on Fire from Dreamspinner Press.

Talented Artists

Welcome to the release party for World on Fire. I have a few excerpts to share and a few posts about art to discuss. Three lucky readers will be winning an ebook version of World on Fire at the wrap up of the party. To enter the contest just comment on my blog or on the Dreamspinner Press blog(Hint: You need to comment with a valid email address.)

Let's begin.


In World on Fire, Lucian is an artist with a rather unusual talent with paint and canvas, and he’s famous for realistic and beautiful artwork. Since the plot hinges on paintings created by Lucian the artist, I thought I’d start this off by sharing my favorite—and real—artists.

Mark Stock is known for narrative paintings, capturing moments in time with enough details that you can actually see a story behind the image. I’m a big fan of his butler in love series. The details and emotions in each work are just amazing. You can see most of his work on his website

J.C Leyendecker (March 23, 1874 – July 25, 1951) was a commercial artist, and quite the famous one during the early twentieth century. He illustrated fashionable men for Arrow Brand, Kuppenheimer Suits, and Interwoven Socks, as well as capturing the spirit of daily life for The Saturday Evening Post. I admit I might be a fan due to the fancy men in fancy outfits.

I tend to lean toward realistic art as my favorite. To be able to capture reality with paint, pencil, charcoal, or anything else is something I’ll forever be impressed by. Who is your favorite artist?

World on Fire now available!

I have ebooks to give away! I'll be doing a release party today starting at 3PM Mountain Standard Time on Dreamspinner Press blog and here on my blog.

To enter the contest for your chance to win an ebook version of World on Fire comment on my blog or on the Dreamspinner Press blog after the event begins

I have excerpts and related ramblings to share so there'll be plenty of opportunities to comment.

When shy Cole Saunders sets out for Nowheresville, Colorado, to interview a reclusive artist, it’s mostly to prove he’s capable of doing the job. He doesn't expect a house and garden so elaborate and secluded that he’s forced to rely on his subject, Lucian Thomas, for anything he needs.

While Cole is trying to get a read on his host, Lucian turns the tables on him, knowing more about Cole than should be possible, wielding an uncanny ability to draw Cole out of his shell. And something even stranger is happening in the garden, which seems to rearrange itself at its master’s whim. Lucian claims he wants to set Cole’s world on fire, but all Cole can see smoldering is the tension between them.

Buy as ebook or in paperback. The first twenty paperback copies come with a signature. Woo.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

World on Fire excerpt - Fireflies

See the collection and larger version: here or here.
 “Here,” Lucian whispered. He stopped, moved his hand up Cole’s arm to his shoulder, and turned to stand behind him.
Cole wasn’t sure which direction he was facing as he looked into the night. Darker figures stood out against blackness, and Cole understood they had crossed to the tree line. He felt Lucian behind him, his hands resting on Cole’s shoulders—it was the only comfort in the emptiness that surrounded them.
“I don’t see—” Cole dropped his sentence with a short gasp. Small speckles of yellow light floated in front of them. Cole had no idea how far away—or how close—the lights were. First there were only a few, then many appeared.
See the collection and larger version: here or here.
“To see any this soon after a storm is amazing.” Lucian kept his voice lowered.
Cole watched the lights, trying to determine their location, but the night had a disorienting effect and made it almost impossible. “What is it?” Cole asked in a hushed whisper.
“You’re curious but scared.” Lucian lowered his lips next to Cole’s ear. Cole felt a small shiver caused by the proximity. Lucian moved his hands down to hold Cole lightly by the arms. “They won’t hurt you,” Lucian assured him.
The speckles of light danced in small circles, and soon Cole realized they were surrounded. It was as if the stars from the sky had fallen to Earth to dance in Lucian’s garden.

available Monday 
January 16th.