Monday, December 30, 2013

December by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday! It's the end of the month so it's time for my monthly writing recap blog post.

·     In Another Life, my short holiday novella, was released December 1st
·     Mary Calmes and I did the first round of edits on Control.
·     Dreamspinner Press will be publishing Perfect Imperfections, my standalone novel, in May.
·     I finished the editing process of Walk with Me – the last Home book.
  ·     Speaking of the Home series, all the books in that series except Home Again are available in paperback but on January 10th, Home Again will be released in paperback and the paperback will also include A Shot at Forgiveness. Anyone who buys the paperback gets the ebook version of both stories for free. You can preorder here.  
 ·     I’m in the process of writing the next Mates book. The day job rudely disrupted me, but I’m back in the game, baby. Ehm. I’m not actually cool enough to get away with saying that, so let’s pretend I didn’t.

Have a great week.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Hound Dog and Bean! For Lovers of Animals and Coffee!

Hello Constant Reader! 

I am pleased to announced the scheduled release of "Hound Dog and Bean." 

Boy, oh boy, am I proud of this book!  Proud and can be! 

Here is the blurb: 

There's been little love in H.D. "Hound Dog" Fisher's life since the death of his beloved mom when he was a boy. Bounced around the foster care system, he ran away as soon as he could… and took the foster dog with him. As far as he's concerned, only dogs have no ulterior motive, never hold a grudge, and offer unconditional love. Now he helps run a no-kill shelter and leaves relationships where they belong: in the back room.  

"Bean" Alexander settled in Kansas City to open his coffee shop after years of traveling. He never expected to open his heart too. When a man with a grudge takes a swing at H.D. while in line at Bean's shop, Bean jumps to intervene.  

So taking a hit for H.D. gets Bean noticed, and H.D. feels obligated to pay a debt. But then the unexpected happens. A series of misadventures causes H.D. to open up—but falling in love makes him turn tail and run. 

Trust is a tough road to travel. Will good friends, a dog named Sarah Jane, and a bit of folk magic be enough to bring Hound Dog and Bean a happy ending?

"Hound Dog and Bean" was inspired by two things. First, my love of animals and especially a teeny tiny furry little girl who lives with me. I got her at Gay Pride in Kansas City six years ago and she is a light in my heart and my life. It is obvious that she was severally abused for it was two years before I could reach down to pat her head and she didn't flinch! She is a dachshund and Yorkshire terrier mix and weighs only ten pounds. How could anyone abuse her? They could have easily killed her! How can anyone hurt any animal, especially one so sweet and full of love and life and who is so defenseless?

For that reason, through December 31st and midnight (EST) all proceeds to preorders on this book go to the ASPCA. It is some small way for me to say thanks for all they do, and for rescuing and saving my sweet Sarah Jane until the day she came into my life and my heart.

The second thing that inspired this book is coffee.


I working a grueling and exhausting Evil Day Job for a company that treats its employees like Hebrew slaves. I work 12-hour shifts and the hardest work I've ever done in my life. The benefits are few and far between. What does this have to do with the price of coffee beans in Guatamala? 

Well, I quickly found I had to do something to even get up in the mornings and it looked like coffee was the way to go. I didn't care for it much and could barely get it down--had to add lots of sweetener and creamer. I was talking about it once in my live journal (remember Live Journal??) and a friend commented that the reason I didn't like coffee was that I wasn't drinking good coffee. 

"What's the difference?" I asked. 

She explained a lot over the coming days, but mostly let me know that I should be drinking coffee made from Arabica beans and should get my coffee from a local roaster if possible, something roasted in the last few days if possible and told me how to do it. 

So I thought, what the hell, and gave it a try. And OMG!!!  Viva la difference! 

I started getting my coffee from an amazing place a few miles from my house called The Roasterie.  This changed my coffee drinking life.

Then I found a place a mile from my house called Oddly Correct!  And that was it!  They prepare cups of coffee by the cup!  It takes longer but you are drinking coffee that was roasted sometimes that day or the day before. You are drinking coffee made from beans from small farmers or cooperatives and you are supporting small families who's farms might be no bigger than your own backyard, and together will all their local neighbors, the beans go from some third-world country to your cup.


See?  This is a barista from Oddly Correct make one cup of coffee! It takes a little longer but oh my God! is there a difference!

All this came together. I wanted to write a book about no-kill animal shelters and I wanted to write a book about a small Third Wave coffee shop. And I realized the two books could and should be ONE book!

And so came "Hound Dog and Bean."

I hope you will check it out. And remember, all proceeds through the end of 2013 go to the ASPCA!

Love and light to you all in this coming New Year!  And may 2014 be the best in your entire life!
And remember this too!
Leap and the net will appear!
BG Thomas

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mary Calmes Is Great by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday. The title of this blog post is really just stating a fact so there's not much more to say about it except ... Mary has a great novella coming out on 12/25 and you don't want to miss it. 

I loved this story. It's not long so you'll have time to squeeze it in among the holiday rush. The novella is called Where You Lead, which is a great title because where Mary leads I will follow. Plus, Mary did a fun interview at Sid Love. Check it out and leave a comment for a chance to win her book. 

And as along as we're talking about Mary, have you read Old Loyalty, New Love? If not, I recommend it. It's a wonderful book with characters I adore.


p.s. I want to share a small review blog I enjoy with you. Check out Kindle Romance Reviews here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

News! I Am Pleased to Announce...

Hello All!

I am very pleased to announce that my Christmas story, "Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf" is doing very well on Amazon!  It has been as high as #20 on all the gay and gay and lesbian lists!  Hurray!  *throws confetti*

So far it has been getting terrific reviews everywhere!  I am so happy as this story means a lot to me!  Everywhere from Joyfully Jay to Amazon to Good Reads and right on through!  Four and Five star reviews everywhere!
Here is the blurb:
Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.
 Nick is a very unhappy man—he's achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won't deter him. That's when he found Kit.
 At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit's personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle.
One thing that makes me exubarant is that Paul Richmond did the cover. Not only that, but he graciously modeled for the cover with his dashingly handsome husband!

In other news, on Thursday night I signed a contract with Dreamspinner Press for my fifth novel, "Seasons of Love; Spring Affair." It was a heck of an accomplishment. Never worked so hard on a story ever and it came in at just under a 100 thousand words!  The story just kept going. I even hacked a few scenes out!  I love this story and it means the world to me!  It will be available in April.
BUT!  And this is VERY exciting to me, yesterday I got the first pencil drawing for my book to be released next month, "Hound Dog & Bean." You are going to LOVE this story! And there is going to be something special in the wind!  Some of the proceeds will be going to the ASPCA! This story is so deeply close to me and everyone who has read it tells me it is the best thing I've ever written!  AND it has as a co-star, the LIGHT of my life, little Miss Sarah Jane Thomas-Rossberg!

She will even be on the cover of the book!  Next week I will show you the cover!

Also, over the next couple days, a bunch of my stories from DSP are on sale!  A good sale too!  Check them out right here!:

Well, I won't get so say "Happy Holidays" until they are over, all of them except New Years!  So I will say it now!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  No matter what your path!

And remember!  Leap!  And the net will appear!
BG Thomas

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

But Wait, There's More! by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday, y'all. (I know it isn't Monday but the day job has been kicking my butt six ways to Sunday so I got delayed and because this isn't a dollar short, I vote we pretend it isn't a day late.)

Okay, so another problem with the butt-kicking day job is that my brain is too fried to think of a good blog post (e.g. my tweets regarding multi-penied aliens - I smell a series!). But glitter glue ejaculate aside, I have great news. All the books in my Home series are available in paperback (as well as ebook), except Home Again ... until now!

Home Again will be released in paperback on January 10th and it's available for preorder now. But wait, there's more - the paperback will also include A Shot at Forgiveness.

What? Two stories in one book?

Yes, it's true.

Is there anything else?

I'm glad you asked because, yes. Yes, there is. Anyone who buys the paperback gets the ebook version of Home Again for free.

Holy smokes! That has to be it. Is that it? OMG, that's not it? There's MORE?

Uh-huh. Not only does the paperback come with both Home Again and A Shot at Forgiveness AND the e-book of Home Again, but for a not-limited time, it also comes with an ebook of A Shot at Forgiveness.

That's right - one paperback purchase gets two stories in paperback and two ebooks. Dreamspinner is Amaaaazing!

Okay. I'm so far beyond tired that I wrote that blog post. Please forgive me. I'm going to go back to work now. Good night and good luck (to me). ;)


Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Few Things From the Week

A few random items from the week in review, by Ellis Carrington:
  • A fellow author, Eric Arvin,  is in the hospital. About to have, I am told, surgery on his brain stem. This is wicked scary, and he and his fiance, as I understand it, are far enough from home that his extended hospital stay (and I would imagine the associated bills) are going to be difficult. So a fundraiser has been started to help Eric and TJ with expenses, and if you'd like to help out you can contribute, here. (your donation can be kept anonymous, if you want)
  • Every day I crush a little harder on Hugh Howey. I confess I was once so down on self-pubbing. Then I published, both with a publisher and without, and compared results. There is still such an interesting stigma attached to doing so because as he points out we see "the slush pile" in self-publishing. The stuff that no publisher would have accepted goes up for sale without editing or attention to cover art, alongside some stuff that'll really blow your mind. His response to Digital Book World's survey about author income is very interesting and inspiring.
  • I have "Holly Jolly Christmas" stuck in my head. You're welcome.
  • Yes, Sir is back on Barnes and Noble. Not sure why it disappeared, but it has returned. It can also (still) be found for the bite-sized price of .99 at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, and ARe.
  • The paperback version of Stripped Clean is currently 11% off on both Amazon and B&N - it's a vendor discount, so I'm not sure for how long they will be marked down, but I appreciate both Amazon and B&N putting it on sale. Also, if you get the paperback on Amazon, you can get the ebook for .99 instead of the usual 3.99.
  • I'm currently working on a) A nap b) the sequel for Stripped Clean and c) A collaboration with Riley Hart called Out of Bounds. You'll notice the nap was first. Priorities. :)
  • An adorable YouTube video of kitten pictures, here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Merchandise by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday! 

Today I have something new to share. Readers asked me to create merchandise (coffee mugs, shirts, etc.) with some things from my books. In response (and with help from Rhys Ford and Kelly Shorten), I set up a Cafe Press shop and put up a couple of covers and quotes suggested by readers. 

You can find it here.

Let me know if there are other quotes you want to see on merchandise and I'll add them. Or if you have other ideas/suggestions, I'm always happy for advice. Thanks!

Cardeno C.

Monday, December 2, 2013

New Release - In Another Life

In Another Life, my short novella, is now available so I thought I'd try to blog a little bit about my inspiration for this story. Blogging is challenging for me in any event. Blogging about this particular topic is even harder so I hope you'll forgive me if I don't do it as well as I wish I could.

First, most of my books have song inspirations and this one is no different. When I heard Katy Perry's The One That Got Away (and especially when I saw the video), I sat and cried. Still get tears in my eyes when I hear the song. So, of course, I had to write a book giving that concept a happy ending. It's one of my favorite things about being a writer - getting to rewrite things so they turn out hopeful and uplifting.

My other inspiration for this book, unfortunately, can't be rewritten with a happy ending. There is no holiday miracle that can turn around certain decisions we make. 

For many of us, our teenage years had some amount of stress, pain, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy. They call it teenage angst for a reason, right? I haven't been a teenager in a long time, but I still remember those feelings. And I remember how hard it was to truly understand that they wouldn't last forever, that someday in the not-too-distant future, I'd get to make my own choices about who I spent time with, where I lived, etc.

We joke sometimes about how being an adult is overrated, about how much easier things are for kids - no job, no mortgage, no responsibilities. But honestly, I'd rather be where I am now. Especially in today's world of social media and camera phones. I am thankful, SO thankful, that my stupidest moments during those years weren't caught on camera and posted on the internet where they'll live forever and I ache for the teenagers of today who aren't so lucky.

I'm probably rattling on here, but my point is that being a teenager is hard. It is. I remember. It's hard because of hormones. It's hard because we don't have as much control over our lives as we think we should have and want to have. It's hard because we're getting to know who we are and we're not sure we like that person yet. It's hard because of other teenagers. But most of all, it's hard because teenagers, no matter how mature, lack the one thing only time can give us - perspective.

The first time we experience heartache, whatever the cause, it feels like the abyss, like we'll never be able to climb out, like we'll never get over it, like nothing will ever be right again. But then we do climb out and we do move on and we do experience wonderful things again. So the next time we fall, well, it still hurts, but getting past it is a smidge easier because at least we know that we can because we know that we have. And with every failure, we get better at that, better at knowing we can not only move past our sorrows, but maybe even grow from them, learn from them, become better because of them. That is perspective.

But to gain that perspective, we have to survive that first wave of sadness, insecurity, and heartache. We have to find the strength within ourselves to hang on long enough to come out on the other side and see that we made it. It sucked, but we made it.

Every time I read about a teenager who has ended life too early, I hurt for the future that might have been if only that person could have had the thing that helps all of us old(er) folks get through the day - perspective. And so, I wrote a story. A short little story. It's about holidays. It's about romance. It's about love. But mostly, it's about perspective.


At age 18, Shiloh Raben is tired. He no longer has the energy to deal with mean classmates, inner doubt, and fear of familial rejection, so he takes a razor to his wrist. When he wakes up in the hospital, Shiloh meets Travis Kahn, the EMT who saved him and didn't leave his side.

Travis is handsome, smart, and funny - the type of guy Shiloh would never be brave enough to approach. But his near-death experience has an unusual side effect: the life that flashed before his eyes wasn't the one he had already lived, but rather the one he could live. With visions of a future by Travis's side, will Shiloh find the strength to confront his fears and build a life worth fighting for?