Monday, June 30, 2014

Sing Inspirations (Seis) by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! It's been some time since I did a song lyric inspiration post, so I'm going for it today. I'll share the songs that inspired my most current releases (Perfect Imperfections and All of Me) and the one that inspired my upcoming release (In Your Eyes).

Perfect Imperfections - John Legend's All of Me


Perfect Imperfections is a novel about two men from different backgrounds who hit it off for a night of chatting, which leads to a great friendship, and eventually much more. As they get to know each other, Reg and Jeremy are on a new magical mystery ride. Reg gets to learn about Jeremy's world and his needs, but more than that, he gets to know the man behind the legend, warts and all. And Jeremy is lucky enough to get to know a man built strong, loyal, and fun. 

Music was Jeremy's first love, his only love until he met Reg who became his rhythm and blues. And when the two men finally put their cards on the table, both to each other and themselves, they could finally follow their hearts. Together.

All of Me - My Immortal by Evanescence


All of Me is a short novella that, for me, could only be written as a
short paranormal. I'm a happy write by nature. So when I felt the pull to tell a story that had some very serious issues and pain, I needed to do it in a world where my characters could heal more easily than humans (thus a shifter book) and in a format that allowed the focus to be on the healing rather than the pain. 

Abel and Kai were bound together, destined to mate, before either of them was conceived. Luckily, the boys adored each other and embraced their future without doubt. But years of holding each other's hand, both literally and figuratively, came crashing down when both were too young to handle the pain life dealt them. And the result was strong Alpha Abel walking through life alone and yet unable to shake the lingering presence of the man he wanted and thought he'd have. 

No matter how often Abel told himself his mate was gone, the man he gave all of himself too lives in his heart. Torn apart at his core, Abel's wounds would never heal, no matter how many years pass, because he he could never get past losing Kai, whose light never stopped resonating in Abel's heart.

And then Kai comes back and Abel has to hope that time and love can erase some of what his mate had endured. Thankfully, both men are strong enough to wipe away each other's tears, fight away each other's fears, and finally live their happily ever after.

In Your Eyes - Animal by Miike Snow

It's hard to come up with a better song to inspire a book about wolf shifters than one called Animal, especially when one of those shifters - Samuel - struggles not to stay in his animal form and leave the human world behind. Samuel was always a good man who wanted to do right by his pack, but in many ways, he lived in a world dark from a lack of emotions and empathy, which was a danger to him and those he was meant to lead. 

From the first moment Samuel saw Korban, he knew there was something in the other shifter's eyes, but it took him many years to identify what it was. In the end, Korban can fill the hole that has always lived in Samuel. Korban's strength, while different from Samuel's, compliments the Alpha well and allows him to be the strong leader he always longed to be. 

The last thing I loved about this song for this book is the happy vibe in it. In Your Eyes has some sad scenes and battles, both internal and external, that the characters have to fight. It felt good to hear a peppy song as I wrote it.

Have a terrific week!

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Little Summer Reading List


I just got back from a get-together where I got to spend time talking books, which is one of my favorite topics. I love sharing book recommendations, so I figured for my post this evening I'd make a list of the stuff I'd read lately that I enjoyed--just in case anybody else out there is looking for some new stuff to read. I know I always am.


  • Wood, Screws, & Nails - Kade Boehme and Piper Vaughn 
  • Blame it on the Mistletoe - Eli Easton (NA)
  • Silent - Sara Alva (YA)
  • Parting Shot - Mary Calmes 
  • Beckoning Blood - Daniel De Lorne (caution, this one is super dark)
  • Better Than Friends - Lane Hayes 
  • Frat Boy and Toppy - Anne Tenino
Got some good ones? I'd love to hear. 

Happy reading, 
Love,

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Confession: Memory Like a Sieve


I admit it. I have a memory like a sieve. Stuff goes in one side of my head and immediately flies out of the other side, never to be seen again. Names and dates are especially adept at slipping through the cracks in my memory. Even the names of my characters. Especially the names of my characters.

I've written a lot of books and short stories. Unfortunately, with prolific writing sometimes comes the much-feared Deer-in-the-Headlights Syndrome, of which I often suffer.

Picture this: You're at a convention. You've just presented an eloquent presentation on some subject pertinent to writing, and opened the floor to questions. A reader stands up, clutching one of your books to her chest. Obviously, she's a fan. You smile and wait for her question.

"In Blah Blah in the Blah Blah, which character did you like best?"

You freeze, your smile still plastered on your face. Blah Blah in the Blah Blah? You dimly remember writing the book.You remember the cover. It was about a renaissance faire, wasn't it? No, wait...that was Blah Does Blah Blah. This one was about a jockey and a freakishly tall shoe salesman. No, that was Blah Meets Blah. Which one was it? The taxi driver and the Fuller Brush salesman? Yes, that's the one. What were their names again?

Damn it! You can't remember. You wrack what few brain cells are still working and not fighting to exit before your head implodes, but for the life of you, you can't recall the names of the characters. So you offer this wonderfully crafted response:

"Um...."

I hate when that happens, but it's sort of unavoidable. It's like a stressed-out mother who has a whole passel of children. When she wants to call the second to the youngest, she invariably ends up going through all of them first. "Mis-Fre-Bri-Pan-Jen-Larry!"

Sigh.

I need a cheat sheet. That's all there is to it, and isn't it sad that the author who wrote the damn book needs to shoot her cuffs in order to remember the characters' names?







Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ask Andrew - Cherry Busting


Dear Andrew

But I have a question for you. Being the mother of a young gay man. He has been topping since he came out last year now he wants to bottom. But I want him to wait until he finds his "forever". Now with that said what is the best advice you can give a young man who want to loose his anal cherry?

Hugs Monique
 
Dear Monique
I'm about to go all After School Special on you for a minute so bear with me.  Sex is best when it involves the heart and soul as well as the body.  There is something magical about sex when the person you are with touched your emotions as well as your body.  Its what we write in romances because its what we all long for.  So I love your advice about waiting for his "forever" but sometimes that isn't realistic.  Especially for guys.  But your advice is very sound and I'd like to tell him the same thing.  I wish I had waited for my "forever."
However, you asked for my advice for bottoming the first time.  There are three things that are critical.  One is a trusted partner.  You ladies understand this point well.  You are about to allow someone else to enter your body.  That requires a level of trust and that trust will allow the experience to be that much more fulfilling and remove some of the tension or worry from the situation.   The second item that is critical is preparation and plenty of it, fingers, tongue, even a small toy can help, but I like the parts that are attached to my lover the best.  The point is to loosen the muscles and try to minimize any pain that will be experienced during initial penetration.  Also this foreplay is fun, enjoyable, and should not be rushed.  Take the time to get to know what is pleasurable and where to touch, it can make all the difference.   
The third critical item is lube, glorious lube.  (I almost broke into song there)  Lots of it, buckets of the stuff.  Okay, I'm exaggerating.  Lube is always important, but for a first time, its even more important.  All of the sensations encountered will be for the first time.  Lube helps smooth the way and makes everything easier.  Trust me on this, I can't stress the importance of lots of lube.  The ultimate goal is a first that that is as memorable and special as possible.    In order for this to happen, all three of these items need to come together in a safe, relaxed environment with a partner willing to take the time and care to help ensure a magical first time. 
 
Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com
 

Monday, June 23, 2014

My Name is Cardeno C. and I Write Romance


My name is Cardeno C. and I write romance.


Whew! Feels good to get that out there in public. It was a secret until just now.

Joking aside, there are things I hear and read that imply the act of reading or writing a happy, sweet, uplifting, romantic book is somehow ... if not shameful than maybe shallow or silly or not all that bright. Like romance readers must not get the elusive it or be smart enough to understand it and romance writers must not be smart enough to write something "better". Like there is no there there.


My name is Cardeno C. and I write romance. Happy romance.


I've heard people imply (strongly imply) that a book is only worth the time it takes to read it if we need a dictionary and an encyclopedia to understand it and a box of tissues and a month of therapy to get past the pain it elicited. There is nothing wrong with those types of books. But often people describe anything that doesn't meet that description as a guilty pleasure or cotton candy or a potato chip. And hard though it may be for me to understand, they don't mean those things as compliments! 

Well, I like pleasure and have no guilt when I feel it. Life is hard enough, the world can be cruel enough, so I embrace every bit of pleasure I can find and I rejoice in giving others happiness and pleasure. Also, I love potato chips (salt & vinegar preferably) and, yeah, I have some guilt when I eat them but that's only because I cannot stop at that ridiculous measurement they call a serving and then I have problems with my jeans. But that's a whole other issue. And as far as cotton candy, eh, not for me. I'm off track now.


My name is Cardeno C. and I write romance. Happy romance. Sweet romance.


Yes, I said it. Sweet. Is there meaning to my books, a point, a lesson? I think so, but it's subtle and covered with smiles and warmth. [Pause to hear this song in my head.] Is there angst in my books? Sometimes more than others, but never so much that it's primary. 

What does that say about my intelligence? About the point of my books? My understanding of the world around me? The life I've led or haven't led? What does it say about my readers? There's only one sure fire, definitely true answer: It says we like sweet, happy romance.


My name is Cardeno C. and I write romance. Happy romance. Sweet romance. Uplifting romance.


The other day a reader posted something about one of my books on Facebook and then another reader left this comment: "...made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!" That is the there, the it I aim to achieve. There is nothing better in my mind than making someone feel good and happy and warm and fuzzy. Writing goal = accomplished. 


My name is Cardeno C. and I write romance.


CC
www.cardenoc.com

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: Stripped Away


Stripped Away Cover
Cover Art by Pickyme
Coming August 1: the sequel to Stripped Clean! Stripped Away is Dave and Ricky's story. I'm really excited about this one. It's written to work as a standalone, but if you enjoyed Stripped Clean I do believe you'll love Stripped Away too.



About Stripped Away:

HE DOESN'T RECOGNIZE HIMSELF

David Moorehouse has spent his life hiding behind masks. Nice guy. Best friend. Reverend's kid. After finding his father dead on the floor, he’s stripped of his job at the family church and his identity as the quiet, nice guy. The life he knew is over, and he doesn’t know what to do next.

HE KNOWS ANGER BETTER THAN ANYONE

Ricky Slade is itching for a fight. By the time he meets David, he’s struggling to save his business, his best friend, his drug-addict brother, and his own sanity. He’s got no patience for his business partner’s judgmental brother showing up and getting in his face.
Their angry heat turns into a fiery inferno, but Ricky's fresh off a bad breakup, and David is getting guilt-tripped by his family and his ex. Every time they fight, they fall into bed, but will that be enough when things around them come apart?

Excerpt:

“You know—” Dave made a disgusted noise in the back of his throat. “Never mind. I don’t know what you’re talking about and I don’t want to know.” He threw his stuff in the rear of Ricky’s cab, then turned to jab a stiff four fingers into the center of Ricky’s chest. “Least we can agree on the dickhead thing. I mean, who shows up to a funeral with a firearm?”
Ricky didn’t show up to funerals at all when he could help it. Easier to avoid acknowledging death that way. “Need I remind, you tried to turn away your own brother? That sort of potential was exactly why I brought the thing.”
Ooh. Jumping jaw muscles and gritting teeth and everything now. “He’s only my brother by blood. I hardly know him.”
Ungrateful punk. “He’s the closest thing you got. He deserved to be at that funeral much as you did. ‘Sides, he was born first.”
Dave advanced on Ricky again, hot breath puffing and panting. “My mama’s heart can’t take that kind of shock. I was trying to keep the peace.”
Ricky matched the threat in Dave’s posture. “The person whose behavior was shocking, Church Boy, was yours.” He licked his lips slowly, grinning at the way Dave’s pupils got smaller and larger and smaller again, like he couldn’t decide whether lust or pissed-as-hell was winning in this fight of theirs.
Ricky himself had adrenaline swirling through his veins and a tornado in his belly. Man, this shit was better than a third ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl “I mean damn, any more heated and you and I coulda wound up going to the dirt right there in front of everybody. Bet that woulda really given your poor mama something to— fuck.”
David growled and gripped Ricky’s shoulders, hauling him front-first against the side of the truck. “Shut up. Shut the fuck up!” His breath beat harsh and ragged against Ricky’s ear.
With what air hadn’t been squeezed outta Ricky’s lungs, he laughed at Dave again. Was that the intelligent option? Hell no. This dude had the markers for being at least three colors of crazy. Ricky didn’t back down though, so he’d push until the other guy did.
Or until someone got hurt.
He’d have said no way could this guy kick his ass, not with his glasses and wiry frame, but Dave handled Ricky’s body with a reasonable amount of strength and know-how. Not enough for a total ass-kicking, maybe, but enough to impress. Speaking of impressive…. “If you think I’m gonna be intimidated by the anaconda you’re rubbin’ against my backside, Church Boy, you got another thing coming.” He sucked in a breath. “Gotta tell you though. If fucking in the parking lot is your thing, you really gotta give a guy some advance warning. I would’ve parked in an unlit area.”
Ricky’s most-likely unexpected response must’ve startled Dave into loosening his hands. Ricky twisted Dave’s arm and turned them both, pushing Dave’s back into the truck and Ricky’s fists into Dave’s chest. “See, that’s what I figured,” Ricky murmured with his lips a hair from one mother of a betrayed sneer. “Damn shame, too.”
Dave narrowed his eyes. “What’s a shame?”

Ricky smiled slightly, shaking his head. “You’re all bark, Church Boy.”

Coming August 1stAdd to Goodreads  

Where to find me: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllisCarringtonRomance Twitter: https://twitter.com/MMbyEllis

Thanks for checking out Stripped Away!
Love,
Ellis

Friday, June 20, 2014

You Are Making My Dreams Come True!



And I want to thank my many friends and readers for making that magick happen. You have made ALL my wishes and dreams come true! We have plane tickets, we have the nights in the hotel, we even have wedding bands! Who would have known when I thought my dreams were crushed and we would not be able to get married that people would donate money to help it all happen?

Years ago I read a science fiction story in which a man is about to board a spaceship and head out to the stars. Before he leaves he stops at a space station and he has dinner with a married couple--two men. I smiled, I sighed, I said, "Two men married?? Ah well, it's science fiction. And who knows, maybe one day...?"
 
And now, in two weeks I will be legally married...to a man. It's real! "R" and I will be legally married!
 
 
 
You know, I am married. I have been since November 5th 2005. Since November 5th, 2005. Many of you were our witnesses! I couldn't be more committed, more with "R" than I am now.
But it isn't "legal." We have none of the rights that every married couple has. Do you know how it feels to have to check off the "Single" box on every legal document I've ever have to sign? Medical papers. Hospital stays. Employment paperwork. Petitions. Everything? My taxes each year? Do you know what that FEELS like? Every time I feel like I have betrayed and denied my husband. There is a sick feeling in my stomach and my heart aches.
 

I know a lot of you have followed this convoluted journey through my Facebook, but for those of you who haven't...here is the catchup. "R" and I work for this woman who was going to spend a weekend in Baltimore. Her husband's gay brother was getting married. But they decided to wait a year and our friend had already paid for the weekend and couldn't get the money back. Not sure why. So she asked us if we wanted the weekend! And we said, "Hell, yes!"

And "R" pointed out we could get married! So we made calls and found out that we had to be there two week days. We were arriving in Baltimore on a Saturday and leaving on a Monday. Not two week days!

So I made phone calls and found out if we filled out this affidavit and we took it too the Kansas City Circuit Court and had them sign the paperwork then we could skip a day and get married on the Monday we are in Baltimore. ALL the paperwork was is KC saying we are who we say we are. They look at our ID and verify that we live in KC. It is not permission to marry. It is not a marriage licence. Just verification that we are BG and "R."
 

No one in KC would do anything. No one would sign it. The City Councilor for KC said it was because no one wanted to stick their neck out. Stick their neck out!

I was crushed. I posted my story on Facebook....

....and I was shocked when I got home the next evening from work and found out that on of my readers/fans had set up a fun for us on the Internet and people were raising money so we could afford to stay the extra time in the hotel and change our plane tickets we can get married.

And many of you have donated! Thank you thank you thank you my friends! Thank you!
 

"R" and I were talking the other night and I said something like, "I plan on being with you the rest of my life...."

He said: "You better, that's why I am going through all this trouble to marry you."

I made a silly off-handed comment about how people do get divorced. And HE said, "No. No divorce. We do this and it's forever."

For a man who isn't very romantic, now and again he hits one out of the ballpark! I am so in love. No wonder I can write romance. I believe in it. And I believe in love.

And I believe in my fellow human being. I have seen overwhelming kindness and generosity. Over the last weeks I've spoken of the things that would make my wedding day perfect and people are making all my wishes and dreams come true. Plane tickets...all paid for. We bought wedding bands! Real gold, REAL wedding bands. I wanted anyone who looked down at my hand to know I was married.
 

Married!

And friends and my readers and people I've never met and may never, ever meet donated money and are making all of it come true!

And the magic continues!! Yes, it does!
 

I called the Baltimore Hyatt Regency last night to reserve the second two nights and got this heterosexual man who went on and on about happy he was for us. He started fixing everything and got us a really wonderful rate...and told us we had a city view.

Me: Is the city view better or the harbor view.

Him: Oh, the harbor view! But I can't get you all the discounts on that....

Me: Oh. Well, that's okay. (Then yelling down to R in his man-cave I tell him what happened).

"R": Which do you want? The harbor view or the city view.

Me: Well, the harbor view of course, but come on! How selfish am I supposed to get?

"R": We'll get the harbor view then!
 
Me: (to the Hyatt Man) He said it was okay to get the harbor view.
 
Him: Okay...but hmmmmmm....you might have to change rooms because the two nights that were gifted to you are city view.
 
Me: Okay then--never mind. Believe me, I am MORE than thrilled.
 
Him: Hold on a minute.... (puts me on hold a long time)
 
Him: Mr Thomas? I just spoke to the manager and I have it all fixed. You have a harbor view, for a hundred dollars less a night than I quoted you, and I have told them it's your honeymoon and they are going to make sure it's prefect!


This is meant to be! That worry I had about the layover? Pshaw! This is meant to be!

Thank you! I want to thank all of you who have wished us well and who contributed to the campaign. http://www.youcaring.com/other/let-s-help-one-of-our-own/188169
Thank you!
With all the love in my heart!
Namasté,
BG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ask Andrew - Wait Time Before Sex


Dear Andrew

I may be old fashioned, but I believe a person should get to know one another before they have sex.  How do you determine the length of time it takes for your characters to know each other well enough to have first time sex?

Tammy R

Dear Tammy R

This is a good question and the simple answer is that the characters determine it.  I know that sounds like a little bit of a cop out, so I'll try to explain.  There isn't a set amount of time because I don't have a formula for writing my stories.  Each set of characters tells their own story.  Therefore the amount of time before having first time sex can vary based upon a number of circumstances.    If one of my characters is shy and very reserved, then first time sex is most likely going to happen later in the story and it may take the form of initial explorations rather than full on anal sex and they build up to that.

Now, if I have a character like Dante from A Wild Ride who is an adrenaline junky, then the time for
first time sex could be much less.  It really all depends on the characters and the story I'm trying to tell.  I may have a shy character who rushes into sex and that causes a number of issues that have to be resolved to advance the story.  There are a number of variables by and large its the characters themselves that determine how long they wait before having sex. 

It is my belief that sex should not be added to a story just to spice it up.  It should fit within the story and advance the plot, be part of character development, or advance the relationship between the characters.  Sex can also be part of the conflict, but it needs to fit within the story.  In short, I agree that when two people get to know each other, the sex is hotter and much more romantic.  But that's just my opinion. 

Hugs and Love
Andrew

Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com

Monday, June 16, 2014

Lower Book Prices by Cardeno C.


I love writing books, it’s my passion. But what I love even more is when people read my books. Hearing from readers always makes my day and one thing I’ve heard time and time again is that voracious readers struggle with book prices.

I took that feedback to heart and worked with my publisher Dreamspinner Press about addressing this issue by lowering the prices on all of my books. My novels are now $3.99 or $4.99 and my novellas/shorts range from $.99 to $2.99 (depending on release date and length). You can find all my books and links to the publisher and Amazon here.

The first novel I’ll be releasing with the wonderful new $4.99 new release price is a shifter book in my Mates series called In Your Eyes. I write all of my series to be fully standalone novels so a reader can pick up any book and have a complete story without missing anything. That means new readers can pick up In Your Eyes without worrying about not having read the other two books in the series. But if they want the other two books, they’re each $3.99. Here are blurbs from all three Mates books to give you a taste of them.

In Your Eyes

Raised to become Alpha of the Yafenack pack, Samuel Goodwin dedicates his life to studying shifter laws, strengthening his body, and learning from his father. Taking control comes easily to Samuel, but relating to people, including those he's supposed to lead, is a constant challenge.

When Samuel meets Korban Keller, the son of a neighboring pack’s Alpha, he reacts with emotion instead of intellect for the first time in his life. Resenting the other shifter for putting him off-balance, Samuel first tries to intimidate Korban and then tries to avoid him. What he can’t do is forget Korban’s warm eyes, easy smile, and happy personality.

When a battle between their fathers results in tragedy, Samuel and Korban are thrown together. With his world crashing down around him, Samuel must save his pack and show them he can lead. But first, Korban needs to save Samuel by inspiring him to feel. Two very different men with a tumultuous history must overcome challenges from all sides and see past the rules they’ve been taught to realize they are destined to fit together.

Wake Me Up Inside

Zev Hassick is surprised and confused when he finds himself attracted to his best friend. His very human, very male best friend. Zev is the son of the pack Alpha, regarded as the strongest wolf in generations, born to lead. And everyone knows a male shifter has to mate with a female of his own kind to keep his humanity. So shifters can't be gay, right?

Jonah Marvel wants a relationship with Zev, his best friend, the man he has loved since childhood. It wasn't easy to maintain that relationship over years spent living apart while Jonah studied to become a doctor. And then things grow more difficult when Jonah becomes his own patient. Before he can make a life with Zev, he has to understand his past and cure the unexplained ailments that plague him.

Zev and Jonah know they're destined for each other, but they're facing traditions ingrained over generations and long-buried secrets that may threaten any future together.

Until Forever Comes

Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can't shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate - a vampire named Miguel.

Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they're true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can't resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other's side until forever comes.

A heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful readers who read my books and let me do something I love. I hope the lower prices help you keep reading.

Love,

CC

Website: www.cardenoc.com
Twitter: @CardenoC
FB Personal Page: http://www.facebook.com/cardeno.author
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cardeno-C/175003325873357
Short Bio: Cardeno C. - CC to friends - is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few "awwws" into a reader's day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno's stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Release -- JP Barnaby


I only rarely do this, and even then, it's only when something has a story that touches me.

Yesterday, June 11th, JP Barnaby's new story, "A Heart for Robbie" released, and while I haven't read it yet, I have no doubt that it'll do its best to make me cry. (As usual, I won't actually cry, but I might sniffle a time or two. I'm not a cry-er.)

In any case, this sounds like it's going to be an emotional ride, and I hope you guys will join me on it. :)

THE BLURB:
Waiting for someone else’s child to die so yours can live is the worst kind of Hell.

Celebrated Young Adult author Julian Holmes pits the heroic characters in his Black Heart series against all different kinds of monsters. But when a critical heart defect threatens his son’s life, he finds he has no champion. No amount of books, classes, or practice can prepare Julian for the fight to save his beautiful son’s life.


Suddenly there are hospitals, transplant lists, and the nightmare of insurance red tape to navigate. In the midst of his trouble, Julian meets Simon Phelps, the insurance coordinator for Robbie’s case. Simon lives so deep in the closet he might never find his way out, but he dreams of exactly what Julian has. Then one night, drunken need and desperation brings them together, and a new fight begins.

THE COVER: 




This book is available from Dreamspinner Press. :) http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5038

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ask Andrew - My First Sex Question


Dear Andrew,

Now you did say any question so here it goes, I've only read it mentioned in one book I read but I haven't read it mentioned in any other since. Okay, yes I'm stalling not asking directly, lol.  Here it goes, after anal sex is there a lot of gas that comes after wards or any other unpleasantness?? I remember once having sex that way a long time ago and the only thing I remember was have very lose stool after wards and the whole experience was enough for me not to repeat. :-) Is there any truth to that?? I suppose I could Google this but can you imagine my family looking back at the history on our computer, try explaining that curious question. Lol.  Hopefully these are some of the questions you meant if not, how embarrassing!

Tammy S

Dear Tammy S

Yes, I did mean any question and you have nothing to be embarrassed about whatsoever.  And for the record - yay - my first butt sex question.  Let's start with the fact that sex is often messy and rarely is it as neat, flawless, and completely romantic is most authors make it seem in our books.  With that said, let's talk about some of the other stuff.  Okay, gas can be a side effect of anal sex.  When the penis is inserted and then with the movement during sex, that can allow air up into the body which after a time will be expelled.   Its that simple. 

There can be other 'unpleasantness' as well.  The muscles can often feel loose and will need a chance to tighten up.  Also, remember that we are all subject to the simple laws of gravity, whatever goes up, must come down.  That means that any emissions, I love that word.  It makes me think of talks young boys used to have with priests about things that so squirt in the night.  Anyway, back to t e butt sex.  The successful results of anal sex will result in the semen coming out as well.  These are normal processes and something you come to expect and deal with. 

When we all become sexually active, we learn things about our bodies.  We know how they behave and react to certain stimulus and we learn the results afterwards, both ecstatic and fun, or sometimes cleanuppy.  Its all part of the experience.  :)

Hugs and Love
Andrew

Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com



Monday, June 9, 2014

May by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! I know I’m a week late but last blog day was a new release day so today I’m doing May’s monthly writing recap. 

  • Perfect Imperfections was released. It has been a wild ride with this one because my goal has been to get it in front of new readers. So far so good! And I wrote a little bonus scene catching up with the guys after the book ends. You can read it here.
  • I finished the galley review for In Your Eyes, the third Mates book, and got this amazing cover from Reese Dante. (p.s. I’m giving away a copy of this book early along with the other two Mates books for the person who comes up with a new tagline for me. Enter by using #CCTag on twitter or Facebook.)
  • I started working with Reese Dante on a cover for McFarland’s Farm, my contemporary novella that’ll be released in September.
  • I finished writing The Half of Us, the next Family book. It’ll be released in October.
Have a great week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Personal Blast from the Past - Riding Heartbreak Road


Years ago, in what I refer to as the Stone Age of my career, back when I was laboriously chiseling words onto a rock slate via a Mac G4, I wrote a book that people either loved or hated. There was no gray area, no straddling the fence on this one. After reading it, the reader either put my name on their "auto-buy" list, or their "person least likely to get pissed on if on fire" list.

The book was Riding Heartbreak Road, and in it, I broke a cardinal rule of romance. Not only broke it, but made origami cowboys out of the pieces. Since then I've received loads of emails from readers, and they all ask the same question: Why?

The answer is simple. I did it because at the time I felt that in life, people don't usually end up riding rainbow-farting unicorns into the sunset. Shit happens. Nasty shit, the kind of shit that can make you cry. The kind that makes you gnash your teeth and wish you were never born. 

What I failed to remember back then (no doubt because I was a rookie, and blinded by all the shiny new letters on my keyboard and how they formed words when I hit them in different combinations) was that I wasn't writing reality. I was writing freaking romance. The two are not interchangeable. In fact, they're usually not even very similar. One is real life, and the other, fantasy. In reality, people hope for a good ending, but the fact is, death comes for us all sooner or later. In romance, most people not only expect, but often demand a happily ever after, or at least, a happy-for-now ending. 

Now, angst is fine; in fact, a little angst and a few obstacles are necessary elements of a strong plot, but to slam the reader without warning with an ending that breaks the rules after letting them fall in love with the characters and giving them hope is a no-no. A big one. And I did it. But good. Bam.

However...

Remember when I said it was a love it or hate it kind of book? To my amazement, a lot of folks liked it. In fact, I have readers who tell me they read it over and over again, and that it's on their top ten list of all time favorites. They got it, understood why I did what I did. 

Writing realism worked, at least in this one book. Would I try it again? Oh, hell no. I've never written another story that didn't have a happily ever after or happy-for-now ending.  

I know many authors who write angst, and write it very well. I even enjoy reading angst from time to time. But I don't enjoy writing it.  I don't enjoy making people cry. It's just not in me. I'd much rather make them laugh.

I still don't regret writing Riding Heartbreak Road, nor do I regret writing the ending. Whether you loved it or hated it, it was the sort of story and type of characters that stuck with you long after you flipped the final page. As a writer, I think that's something of which to be proud. 

Riding Heartbreak Road was a trial by fire for me at the very beginning of my career. I learned a lot from the experience - still am learning in fact, since the darned book is still selling, even after all these years, and I still get emails on it.

Also available in paperback and hardcover through Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and other online sources.


Follow me on Twitter! @kiernankelly
 


  


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ask Andrew - From Idea to Publication


Dear Andrew

How long does it take from idea to publication?

M.I.

Dear M. I.

Thank you for your questions. I chose to answer this one now and hopefully I can get to the others eventually.  For me, the idea often comes when I'm working on another story.  I let it stew and mull it over as I'm working on a different story.  Sometimes, they come to me fully formed and other time the ideas take a while to settle into a story.  I do have a notebook and record the ideas so I don't lose them.  I will admit that some ideas don't take root while others hit me like a load of bricks. 

Once an idea really catches on, I form the basics of the story idea and then it waits for its turn to be told.  Depending on where I am in my writing, that can be one to two months.  Once I start work on a story, the actual writing takes me about three weeks or so to complete the initial draft.  Then I go on to another story and let that one clear from my mind.  Beta readers get a chance to look at it, and then I make revisions and begin the process of preparing the story for submission.  The post writing process takes about a month and then I submit.

Basically, the story I an writing right now is for March of 2015.  I like to be working eight to nine months ahead of publication.  I can tell you that this varies by author.  Some need pressure and work closer to deadline.  I like to avoid that if possible. 

Hugs and love always
Andrew


Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Release: All of Me by Cardeno C. & Contest!


My new shifter novella, All of Me, is now available at Dreamspinner and Amazon and All Romance.

Blurb: Bonded by their parents before they were conceived, Abel Nasa and Zakai “Kai” Berura adored each other since they were children. As teens, the two future Alphas took the next step in their bonding process and vowed to remain true to one another until Kai came of age. But when tragedy struck, Abel felt
betrayed and ran from Kai instead of completing the mating bond. 

Years pass with no contact between the two, but Abel never stops yearning for the man who was supposed to lead by his side. When Kai returns, broken and on death’s door, Abel must look past what he saw and trust his heart so they can fulfill their destiny and merge their packs.

And I'm having a contest! Come up w/ a new tagline for my website www.cardenoc.com & win my Mates series (including In Your Eyes before the July 14th release date). Use ‪#‎CCTag‬ on twitter or FB to enter.

Have a great week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Out Today: Total Immersion


Total Immersion-rev3 

 I'm super excited about this story light, humorous new adult story, part of the Daily Dose "Mended" anthology of hurt/care stories. Evan is hurting from an injury and a breakup, Bale is kind of on a search to find himself after breaking up with his high school sweetheart. They wind up rooming together on a trip through Turkey and Greece, and getting immersed in more than just the local culture. I hope you enjoy: 
  About Total Immersion: 
  Evan Stanton is in over his head. Injured from a fall on campus, he’s let his boyfriend talk him into a senior year total immersion trip—two weeks abroad—only his boyfriend ends up dumping him shortly before takeoff. Evan gets on the plane anyway, but he’s lost his hope and added to his pain. 
  Chris Bale decided to spend his senior year of college clearing his head after breaking up with the girl he's dated since high school. He finds himself on a flight to Istanbul next to a surly kid with piercings and guyliner who couldn't be more his opposite. They strike up a friendship anyway, and as they make their way across a foreign land, Bale realizes he’s too immersed in Evan to let go. 
Excerpt: 

“Evan, check it out!” Two of the girls from our group were looking through high-heeled shoes at a table. Next to them, Bale held up a small jar. You’d think it was a trophy. “Penis-enhancement cream!”

The two girls, Tamara and Susan, they giggled and looked at him like he belonged in a zoo. Bale sure didn’t seem to care. You’d think he won a competition. I’d say I couldn’t believe he shouted that shit from two tables away, but after asking the guy selling lacy thongs if they had any in his size and telling the dude at the baklava shop he’d like his pastry with extra nuts? I kind of can.

Turns out Captain Khaki has a bright, shiny freak flag.

I shook my head and made my way over. “Jesus, man. You’re gonna get us thrown in a Turkish prison or something.”

“I’m pretty sure they don’t really do that as often as rumor would have you believe.” He held up the jar. The label showed a grinning old man with a massively huge boner. “So. Whatcha think?”

“I think God only knows what’s in there, and it better never get anywhere near my dick.”

Bale tsked and shot me a scowl. “You know, for a guy who wears studded belts and eyeliner, I’d expect you to be more adventurous.” He reached up and flipped my hair out of my eyes. I hate when people do that, and I’d have said so if I wasn’t in the middle of an argument about penis cream.

 ~ ~ ~
Thank you for checking out Total Immersion. I hope you enjoy, and happy reading!

 Find it: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press | Get the entire Mended anthology