Monday, December 30, 2013

Songs By Heart

Music. It brought them together, and it might just tear them apart.

When Mike met Harry, he knew this sweet, insecure, and musically talented guy was going places. What he didn't know was how hard it would be to stand back and let him.

It seems to take forever before skittish Harry--who works as a part-time waiter and plays guitar in the park--will even consider dating handsome, musical, and geeky Mike, especially when Harry feels betrayed by circumstances beyond Mike's control. 

But once they start dating, they're so happy together.  Apparently two ordinary guys can find love.

Then their relationship is tested by each man's insecurities, and by Harry's unexpected chance in the music industry.  When he ends up on a reality TV show for singer/songwriters, the enforced distance (and the media outing Mike) almost destroys their relationship. 

With all these changes, do they still have room in their lives for each other?

A sweet, gentle contemporary gay romance.

Length: 101,000 words (full length novel)

For sale on Amazon:

and Barnes and Noble:

Should be available from some other vendors before long.  :)

This is a full-length novel, really quite long, and it took me from one and a half to two years from start to finish.  (I can't remember exactly when I started it, and I haven't kept very good records, sorry!)  

In one sense it's difficult to actually let go and put it out there, to say goodbye to my boys.  But ah, it was time.  I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I did.  Okay, probably not possible--but at least a bit, maybe?

Have a good New Year's!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Magic for Lee

Peter runs a magic shop, quietly helping people with his magic, resigned to living alone—and trying to hide his crush on Lee, his baker friend. Then one day Lee asks him to make a special spell, a spell to reveal Lee's feelings to the person he loves. Peter never expected to have his crush returned, so he resigns himself to making the spell for Lee's beloved, in the meantime relishing the time Lee spends with him. 

Dangerous magic comes to their peaceful neighborhood: a harmless, gentle neighbor is killed. The police consult briefly with Peter about it, though they don't tell him what happened or why. Peter and Lee wish they could investigate, but instead stay out of it as ordered. Or at least, they try to… 

Length: 24,000 words 
Heat Level: very low 

You know, I'm kind of almost sad to see this one finished.  I don't want to say goodbye to my boys!!  Also, I wish it had turned out sexier.  I know, I can't believe I'm saying that either....

Saturday, December 21, 2013

books & more books!

Tinsel Fish is out!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a great Christmas gift.  :-)  I was going to try to wait till Christmas to read it, but don't think I'll make it.  :D

Also on my reading list:

The Heart of Frost, by Charlie Cochet

So many wonderful books are out!

I want to talk about more I've read or want to read, but that will have to wait.  :-)

Hope you guys all have a great Christmas / Holiday season!  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Coming Soon: Magic For Lee

cover design by Melody Simmons

Magic, sweet gay romance, and a little mystery!  24,000 words, coming soon from Spare Words Press.  I had a lot of fun writing this one.  And I really, really like the cover.  Melody does great work.  :)

Yes, It Is That Hard

I was thinking today about how difficult it is to be a writer.  I mean, hey, I get to sit down & write whatever story I want to tell.  Nobody can stop me and nobody can make me give it up.  So how is that hard?

Well, on the one hand it's EASY.  It's kind of addictive, and very important to me.  Telling stories is the best.

On the other get any good, you need a lot of practice.  You need to learn the mechanics of writing, get a feel for story structure, and practice till your fingers practically bleed.

And then there's no guarantee that the stories you write will be any good, or at least something that interests anyone else.  Or if they do, that it'll interest them enough to buy it.  Or if it does and they do, that they won't end up hating it and leaving reviews that make it sound like you're both racist and evil.  (This hasn't happened to me, as far as I know--but I'm not reading a lot of my reviews, LOL!)

The point is, there are no guarantees.

I have been taking this seriously for more than twenty years.  Yes, part of that time I was a child.  I still took it intensely seriously--practicing, planning for the future, learning and writing as much as I possibly could.  Wanting to be a writer with my whole heart.

I've written for thousands of hours, millions of words (yes millions), and story upon story upon story.  I have no guarantees that anything--anything--I've ever written or ever will is "important" or "good" or even "entertaining," because these things are kinda subjective.

I do know I've enjoyed almost all of it.  Except editing.  And a lot of business stuff that goes with writing.  And the crippling self-doubt that sometimes hits any writer.   (If you're a writer, you know what I mean.)

When I read a story by a new-to-me author and love it, and go to find more of their work and then see that they haven't published anything else, I'm always disappointed.  :(  But...I get it.  I really do.  It's harder than they thought it would be, or they don't have the time, or they let the bad reviews get to them, or they did the math and realized, "What the heck?  I sold twelve copies and spent months of my life doing this??  I could do better and have more fun selling on eBay!"

Or maybe they're still out there working on another story.  I hope they are; I'm rooting for them, for entirely selfish reasons: because I want to read more of their work.  I'm rooting for you, one-story author.  Or aspiring author.  Or blocked writer.  Because I love to read as well as write, and more stories are always a good thing if you ask me.  :)

But, I do get it.  I get quitting.  It's hard to keep writing sometimes.

And weirdly, as serious as I take it, I can't take it too seriously.  I have to play while I'm writing--enjoy it and write something that I find interesting.  Because sitting down and Writing Something Serious and Important doesn't seem to work.

No matter what I do, I don't know what the reaction will be to my next story: disappearing, getting trashed in reviews, or what.  But it doesn't matter.  Writing can't be about that.  It can't be about the money, if any.  (Oh, and it's really best not to work out how much time you spend and whether you're earning minimum wage, with this work that you spend hours on every day and often earn little or nothing from.)  It's best to have fun, do your best, and then let it go.

It's probably really best to not be a writer at all, but I'm not sure I have that choice.  :-)

And you know what?  Tomorrow I get to get up, sit down, and start typing on a story that I have been longing to write.  I get to meet new characters, lose myself in the atmosphere, and wrestle with plot, and I can just feel it's going to be fun.

I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thank you for the nominations!! :)

Best Historical nominations: Adrian's Librarian and Winton's Strays.  

I don't think I deserve to win (hell, I didn't even vote for myself!) but I am very grateful for the nominations.  

Thank you!  <3

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

stories that didn't work.

Now that the year is almost through, here's a look at my unfinished or abandoned work.

The Clone – A sci fi story about a clone.  -  Didn't quite work; felt 'off.'

Teds and Bread – A guy who bakes bread meets a guy who sews teddy bears and has a chip on his shoulder about his cheating ex.  -  Didn't manage to find a way to finish this.  It sounded so good in my head but it fizzled.

Jody the Con – A guy meets an old friend, the boy he first loved—now a man who can't be trusted an inch.  -  I didn't trust Jody an inch; couldn't finish it.

Lollipop Guy & Bakery Man – Fred's boyfriend breaks up with him and he finally notices that sweet, swishy Sascha is interested in him—and not ashamed to be with a "big, dumb baker."  -  Too much sex, and I didn't like the characters enough. 

"Bookstore" – Alex is hiding out in fear for his life, working at a bookstore.  His old boss finally tracks him down and sends his ex-partner—and lover—after him.  Reece isn't certain he can forgive the only man he ever loved for running away, but he can't let him go either.  -  Too much sex, too much angst, ran out of plot.  Also, not enough books for being about a man working in a bookstore.

"Flight" – A flyboy acquires a new wing-walker in a scruffy farm boy desperate to escape his old life.  -  Something about this story just doesn't click.  The farm boy needs more personality, or the flyboy does, or they both do.

"Decorations" – Two men who work together in a candy shop discover a mutual love of Christmas, and a mutual attraction neither has dared admit.  -  I'm really sad this one fell through, because I like the guys, I just couldn't seem to write the story.  It's been over a year so I probably have to accept it's dead.  

I've pretty much had to admit defeat and move these stories from my "WIP" list to my "defeated" list.  Maybe I'll find some way to fix and finish these next year, but I won't hold my breath.

NOTE: If you take any of these story ideas, PLEASE let me know and credit me.  It would be appreciated!!  I don't mean vaguely inspired by, but if you actually take the idea.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mark & Ethan

Sometimes I think these guys could cheer up any day, with their random, real-life adventures.  

It's so nice to see young guys in a committed relationship that's happy, healthy and fun. 

Angst is fine in stories - but I think in real life we'd all prefer to be as happy as these guys seem together.  


Friday, December 13, 2013

RJ Scott's competition!

Download for free at Love Lane Books or All Romance Ebooks

Hey guys!  RJ Scott, who made this lovely anthology, is running a free drawing.  You can enter here:

(To enter her big competition, go here:

The prize I signed up to give is any two copies from my back-list, whatever format you'd prefer.  RJ will tell me who won, and I'll send you your choices.  :)

Back to the anthology.  I had so much fun being part of this free Christmas book, and I'm grateful to RJ Scott for creating it.

Personally, I find there's something special about writing a Christmas story.  Perhaps because there's always something to shoot for--that specific feeling that, to me, means warmth and Christmas and happiness and, if possible, snow!  :)  

Plus I do love a happy ending, and Christmas stories seem to just go with happy endings.  Well, enough yammering from me!  I hope you have a great Christmas, whatever it holds.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

sales + cover art!!!!!!

Five of my stories are on sale on Amazon for the next few days:

And...this is so exciting...check out my new cover art, made by the amazing Catt Ford!  :-D

Isn't it just beautiful??  :)  This is another Dreamspinner Press title and will be out in Spring!  :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Delights anthology - free!

Hey guys!  Belatedly wanted to let you know it's out.  You can get it from Love Lane Books or All Romance Ebooks.  

My story is called "The Christmas Mansion."   It's a "sweet" story that takes place in a historical fantasy version of America with some magic and two guys falling in love while fixing up an old mansion.  Here's the blurb:

The Christmas Mansion, by Hollis Shiloh
In a world of gas lighting and horse-drawn carriages, Rex is fixing up an old mansion to host a Christmas party for his wealthy family's business. He meets a gentle, insecure magician named Gene, who's come to work on the crumbling mansion's moldings. He doesn't expect to fall in love.
(Approx. 9500 words)

Anyway, it was really awesome to get to have one of my stories in here, and I appreciate it so much that RJ Scott made this free Christmas anthology!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013