Official Upcoming Release Schedule!

Due to changes in how my publisher assigns dates, I won't have release dates until I finish the book. I'm currently working on:

Taking the Realm which is book 3 of Sha and Connor's trilogy (previously titled Shaking the Balance)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Defining Success

How do you define success? That is such a loaded question with so many different answers depending on which profession you apply it to. I'm an author (among other things) so let's look at it from that perspective.

So, how do you know you're a successful author? Is it when you sell your first book? When you get that first real royalty check? When you realize you have legions of fans? When you land a contract with a major publisher? When you make enough to quit your day job and support yourself on your royalties alone? When you win tons of awards?

To be honest, I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to the question of how you measure success. I'm sure it's different for everyone. To my friends and family, I'm a success because I have five books published. It doesn't matter that I make practically nothing right now, I did something many wouldn't have the guts to do. To others, I'm a success because I'm signed with an indie publisher. For a while, that's how I measured my success: whether or not I landed a contract. When it happened, I was ecstatic and I LOVE my pub family, but I didn't feel like a success.

Next I thought I would consider myself a successful author when I won awards. Well, a few weeks ago, I did. Technically, a few months ago I did. Breaking the Nexus is now a two time award winner (Silver in the 2015 eLit awards for Sci-fi/Fantasy and Gold in the 2015 Readers' Favorite awards for Urban Fantasy) and Hidden Battles also won an award (Silver in the 2015 Readers' Favorite awards). I felt successful for a few moments, but it didn't last. Don't get me wrong, I can't tell you how humbled I am to have won and the confidence boost has been amazing, but it didn't magically make me feel successful.

Something has changed recently, however. Something that makes me start to realize that elusive feeling isn't so far off. It isn't a sudden skyrocket in sales (though damn, that would have been amazing lol) nor is it winning some other award. It hasn't been landing a contract or any of those other ways I thought I'd define success.

No, I began feeling successful when I realized I needed to stop worrying about being successful. You're probably confused by that, and I don't blame you. I was so focused on labeling myself that I was losing sight of the reason I started writing forever ago: I love telling a story. When I first started with self-publishing, my goal was to sell 100 books. I accomplished that pretty quickly, but I ultimately burned myself out trying to do too much. When I returned to writing, it was hard. When you're away from it for so long, you feel lost. Then life happened again and I had to take another break (tragedies, health issues, and serious stress all hit around the same time). Along came another hiatus.

This second hiatus was a blessing in disguise, however. It made me sit down and analyze why I was so terrified to start up where I'd left off on my book. Turns out, it was because I could remember having direction with my plot but couldn't remember what it was so I got discouraged. I pride myself to never really having a defined plot and when I reminded myself of that, I realized I was being silly. My style involves a stream of consciousness word dump on someone who just asks me occasional questions like "What happens next?" Who cares if I don't remember what I had planned forever ago? If it was good, it'll come back to me. Sitting here scared to put words on a page was going to get me nowhere.

So for me, that makes me successful. I'm doing something that used to terrify me: reading my own work (don't ask, I truly hated it). I'm forcing myself to sit down and write even when it scares me. I'm slowly conquering that nagging insecurity and anxiety that tells me I'm never going to make it with this. If I get only one sentence accomplished, that's one sentence more than I had.

Selling thousands of books in a month would be amazing, but it won't make me personally feel successful. Being comfortable with myself and loving writing for the sake of telling a story, that's how I find my success.

Love Comes Unheard by Andrew Grey

Title: The Gift
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: Senses Series
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Sept 18 2015
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Garrett Bowman is shocked that fate has brought him to a family who can sign. He's spent much of his life on the outside looking in, even within his biological family, and to be accepted and employed is more than he could have hoped for. With Connor, who’s included him in his family, Garrett has found a true friend, but with the distant Brit Wilson Haskins, Garrett may have found something more. In no time, Garrett gets under Wilson’s skin and finds his way into Wilson’s heart, and over shared turbulent family histories, Wilson and Garrett form a strong bond.
Wilson’s especially impressed with the way Garrett’s so helpful to Janey, Connor and Dan’s daughter, who is also deaf. When Wilson’s past shows up in the form of his brother Reggie, bringing unscrupulous people to whom Reggie owes money, life begins to unravel. These thugs don’t care how they get their money, what they have to do, or who they might hurt. Without the strength of love and the bonds of family and friends, Garrett and Wilson could pay the ultimate price.
Book Links
Dreamspinner Press

The front door opened, and Wilson stepped out. Janey came out as well, and she waved when she saw him, breaking into a huge smile. Garrett slowly walked up to the door, wondering what kind of fairy tale he had just fallen into. Connor motioned him forward, lifted Janey into his arms, and carried her back inside with a huge hug.
“Please come in,” Wilson signed.
Garrett wasn’t so sure. What the hell would the likes of him do in a place like this? He carried his suitcase close to his body and reminded himself not to touch anything or get dirt anywhere. The internal admonitions had started, and he hadn’t even stepped inside.
Wow, he thought once he did. The place was huge, and it was so clean it sparkled. The floors glistened, and chandeliers gleamed overhead.
A boy in a motorized chair rolled up to him. “I’m Jerry,” he signed as best he could with his curled fingers. Garrett smiled.
“I’m Garrett,” he signed back and shook the boy’s offered hand. He was small and obviously couldn’t walk, but the smile Garrett received was luminous. It seemed Jerry was at that age where he wanted to start acting like a man.
Jerry began to talk, but Garrett couldn’t understand what he was saying. His lips didn’t form the words in a way that he could read them. He glanced at Wilson, who signed what Jerry had said.
“Yes. I’d… like… to… see… your… drawings,” he said slowly. Jerry turned and rolled away. Garrett wondered if he should follow or what.
Wilson lightly touched his shoulder. “Let me show you your room. I explained to Jerry that he needs to be patient.” Wilson smiled, and Garrett nodded, following Wilson up the stairs and down a hall lined with pictures of the kids with grinning faces looking out of picture frame after picture frame. Wilson opened a door, and Garrett stepped inside. The room was small but very nice, and it smelled clean. The late-afternoon sun shone in the windows.
“The bathroom is through that door,” Wilson signed and then pointed. “My room is right across the hall if you need anything.”
“Thank you.”
“Dinner will be ready in half an hour,” Wilson signed, and Garrett nodded. He’d have time to take a shower. It had been too long since he’d felt clean.
Garrett stared at Wilson, taking in his crisp pants and flawless light blue shirt with a hint of skin at the collar. The man was gorgeous, in Garrett’s opinion, with his aquiline nose and water blue eyes. He hadn’t even realized he’d been looking that long until Wilson began to move out of the room. Garrett turned away and felt heat rise in his cheeks. He’d been staring, and he had no right to. “Thank… you,” Garrett said just before Wilson disappeared from view.

Author Information
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links
Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey
 For Other Works by Andrew
(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)
The ones listed below is for this Series Only
Senses Series
Love Comes Unheard Book 5


Andrew Grey is, without a doubt, one of my favorite authors, regardless of genre. His books were some of the first to introduce me to the beautiful M/M genre, but his characters are the ones that stick with me. Why? Because he writes such genuine, real characters. They have struggles, often possessing disabilities that few authors even want to approach. Better still, he makes sure he does his research and talks to people with these disabilities. I love his Senses series and this latest addition is no exception.

In this book, we get to meet Garrett, a man born deaf. We also get to revisit the family introduced in Love Comes Around, something that really excited me because I was left at the end of that book hoping for more. This story is beautifully written, showcases what it's like to be deaf without making it cliche or something to be dreaded, and overall had me turning the pages as fast as I could to see what happens next. This is a sweet read, but make no mistake, the love scenes are just as scorching as I've come to expect from Andrew. That being said, he keeps a tasteful balance so it doesn't feel like you're reading mindless porn.


I really had no complaints other than I wished the book didn't have to end.

OVERALL VERDICT: 5/5 Blue Duckies!

Whether you're an avid reader of the M/M genre or just starting out, I can't recommend Andrew Grey's books enough. His characters come to life in a way I don't see often. The emotions are palpable and I always find myself eagerly anticipating his next book.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review of Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford

It seems like forever ago that I discovered Rhys Ford, but it really has only been within the past year. I kept seeing her book, Sinner's Gin, showing up on my suggested reads and at first, I kept passing it up. At the time, I wasn't that big into the M/M genre (still not entirely sure why it was showing up lol), but the cover wore me down. From the first few pages of that book, I was hooked. I ended up binge reading on the rest of the books and then anxiously checked to see when the fourth book, Sloe Ride, would be released. Sadly, it hadn't had a release date at that time. Cue my stalking her website and Facebook page for any sign as to when it would be released.

I was lucky enough to be given an ARC of Sloe Ride, which makes the fact that I didn't post this on release day a bit shameful. In my defense, that was my wedding anniversary and the start to an insane week. Then again, I should've posted it sooner. Alas, hindsight is 20/20 and all that. Anyway, let's rectify things and get to this amazing book, shall we? First, a bit about the book:

Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford

About the Book:
Genre: M/M Romance
Series: Sinners Series (Book 4)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 260 pages
Price: $5.38 for Kindle (as of 9/13/15)
It isn’t easy being a Morgan. Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. 

Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart. 

Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place. 

When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.


I love how real the characters of Rhys Ford's books are. You don't have perfect heroes; they always have their flaws, whether they're seen or unseen. This book is no different. Rafe was once a successful bassist who let drugs take over his life and ruin his career. When things went up in flames (literally), he was left a pariah of the music world. He has overcome his addiction, but can't escape his past. Quinn is also an outcast of sorts. In a family full of cops, he's a professor. He has struggled with never quite fitting in with his siblings as well as having an undeniable attraction to a certain bassist. There are also some mentions of issues with depression, something that is always refreshing since it's still a bit of a taboo topic.

I loved that Rafe wasn't immediately welcomed into the newly forming band (read the other books to get the other members' stories), but it wasn't something that was dragged out. Their concerns were founded, but they still gave Rafe a chance. I really loved getting to see more of the previous characters, especially my favorite: Miki. He has shown a ton of growth over the past few books, slowly easing into accepting the boisterous Morgan family as well as the new bandmates. It's not easy for him, but he's trying.

I don't want to go into too much detail. There's some action to this book that keeps things interesting and everything is well paced. While this technically could be standalone, I HIGHLY recommend you read the other Sinners books first. You'll get so much more out of this book having read those.


This is a very minor complaint. I wish a bit more time had been given to some of the struggles Quinn had with his depression and issues. A lot focused on Rafe and their growing relationship, but I really would've loved to see just a tad more on Quinn. Like I said though, that's a VERY minor complaint and just a personal preference of mine.

OVERALL VERDICT: 5/5 Blue Duckies!

This was a solid contribution to the series and kept me hooked until the very end. We also get to see the band's new name and let me tell you, it couldn't be more perfect. Definitely a book (and series) you shouldn't miss!

Welcome to Sunday

I can't think of a good title for this post, so we'll go with Welcome to Sunday. I'm a horrible blogger. It's weird. I want to post. I try to post. But I procrastinate. I tell myself I'll do it later. Later turns into tomorrow which turns into next week; before I know it, I haven't done a content post in months. To be honest, that's also how my writing goes.

There has been a crazy amount of change in my personal life recently, not the least of which is changing jobs. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to no longer be in an environment that had turned toxic for me. I'm working much better hours as well, so my goal is to attempt to use the extra hours I have in the morning to help keep things updated. We'll see how that goes.

On the writing front, I'm back to working on  Taking the Realm, and I'm determined to finish the damn book. Some of you have been waiting for the conclusion to Sha and Connor's trilogy for literally years and I'm determined it will happen very soon. I'm also working on a plethora of projects so while I originally had planned to work on the next Mythrian Realm books right after this one, I'm honestly not sure what will be the next book completed. My publisher has changed things so she won't give a release date until we've given her a mostly polished manuscript, so there won't be any more missing my release dates. The downside is, I have to hold myself more accountable to finish things. If I ever want this to be my full-time career, however, I need to do that anyway, so this may be best for me.

As for the next few weeks, be on the lookout for some reviews and actual content posts from me. A number of fantabulous authors have generously given me their books and I promised reviews so that is most definitely happening. I do love you all and appreciate your support through my absences and  crazy life more than words can ever express.