This Time Forever

This Time Forever is the series I didn’t plan, but I already knew by the time I’d started writing the second book that these characters had a lot more stories to tell. In particular, I envisaged an epilogue-type story where all six of the main characters vacationed together. I thought it would be fun to bounce them off each other, see how the different personalities connected and conflicted.

When I got to the end of the second book, I had the perfect excuse: Frank and Tom’s wedding.

“This Time Forever” is only six chapters long, but every chapter is from the point of view of one of the main characters from the series: Frank, Mal, Brian, Simon, Charlie, and Tom. Most of my favorite secondary characters are there as well, including Josh and Ethan from Chasing Forever.

I made the story available to my newsletter subscribers first. (If you want to be on the A-List, sign up here.) Now I’m making it available to everyone to download and read for free because I write these stories for you as much as for myself. I love revisiting my characters after The End and I love sharing those visits with my readers.

If you haven’t started the series yet, you can read the first book for free with Kindle Unlimited!

If you’ve missed an extra story from another series, check the Free Reads page on my website.

Okay, that’s enough rambling from me. Go get your copy of “This Time Forever”!


YOU’RE INVITED TO A WEDDING.

This Time ForeverIt’s a beautiful day and everyone is here to help celebrate Frank and Tom’s wedding. Simon is the best man, Charlie is scaring teenagers with gory stories, and Mal and Brian are investigating a linen closet. Tom is…

No one’s quite sure where Tom is.

Frank organizes the search, which is to say, Frank panics. But everyone gets involved anyway because it’s a beautiful day and they’re all here to celebrate a wedding.

Download

The Intersection of Hardship and Hard Work

As I sit here, preparing to share my thoughts on the NaNoWriMo 2019 experience, I’m listening to the generator growl outside. We’ve been without power for nearly twenty-four hours and may endure for twenty-four hours more before it is restored. Speaking of twenty-four, that’s about how many degrees it is outside. Fahrenheit. I’m wearing two shirts under my fleece and I have socks on with my slippers.

20191203_071853This is not the longest we’ve been without power. We survived eight days a few years ago. I know, I say it like we were caught on the windy side of a mountain without shelter. But with temperatures only a little more friendly than they are now and no water—the house runs on well water and a septic system—those days were hard. I had to haul buckets of water from the creek at the back of the property to flush the toilet and boil bottled water for washing. We stored the food from the freezer out on the deck (where it remained nearly frozen) and cooked whatever thawed first on the grill.

Now we have a generator to power the fridge, the water pump, and, luxury of all luxuries, the hot water heater. I argued against the water heater at first, ever mindful of using too much gas. But when you’ve been without power for six or seven days, there’s nothing like an almost hot shower to restore your humanity. Continue reading “The Intersection of Hardship and Hard Work”

Building Forever is now available through Kindle Unlimited!

KU-BuildingForever

I’m super excited to have Building Forever in the Kindle Unlimited program because it means a lot more readers are going to meet Charlie and Simon and the goal of most authors is to have people read their books, so…

But, seriously, I love this book! As regular visitors to my blog know, it’s one of my favorites, from the first paragraph where we meet Charlie spluttering over a mouthful of Cheez-Its, to the very last, where Simon assures Charlie that they’re ready for what comes next.

Building Forever is everything I love about contemporary romance: Ordinary people doing fairly mundane things and falling love along the way. But life is never just ordinary, and so this story takes the characters on a journey that made me laugh and cry.

Read Building Forever

Building Forever is also available for purchase at Amazon, in either ebook or print formats, while it’s enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program. After the enrollment ends, the book will again be available through other retailers.

I will also be leaving all of my former Dreamspinner titles enrolled in KU through the holidays for readers who’d like to check out more of my books.

Best in Show
Block and Strike
Counting Fence Posts
Counting Down
Counting on You
Out in the Blue
When Was the Last Time

Plus one more:

Wrong Direction

Frank and Tom Are Getting Married!

If you’re a newsletter subscriber, you’ll definitely want to make sure you open this month’s edition! I’ve written an epilogue story for the This Time Forever series, imaginatively titled “This Time Forever.” It’s pretty much fluff, which is what most of the in-between stories I write for my characters are. But for as much as I wanted to revisit all the main characters from the series, I figured my readers might like to too, so I plotted a gentle arc around Frank and Tom’s wedding.

It’s a beautiful day, everyone is there, including Charlie’s daughter and grandaughter, Brian’s nephew, Tom’s long-suffering ex-girlfriend, Frank’s sister, and a few extras. The only character I’d like to have included but couldn’t come up with a reasonable excuse to was Arthur Beckwith. I still have vague plans to send him to a senior singles resort in Florida, though. (He’d be inspired by Frank’s stories of what happens with the pool floaties… or maybe not.)

So, everyone is there… except Tom. Frank, of course, is beside himself and gets everyone else involved in the search, giving me an excuse to write a chapter from everyone’s point of view. Well, just the main characters–though I did think about including Josh. I’m going to have to write a story just for him, aren’t I?

Okay, enough waffling. How do you get this piece of literary magic? Newsletter subscribers get it first–tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12, which is just about bang on a year after Renewing Forever (Frank and Tom’s book) was released. The perfect time for an epilogue story featuring their wedding, don’t you think?

I will make the story available to everyone else by the end of the year–links to be posted on this blog later in December.

Subscribe-button

 

Everyday People

This is one of my favourite posts! It’s all about why I love to read and write queer contemporary romance. ❤

While building a better website (you can check it out here), I compiled a list of posts hosted elsewhere for one of the features. This post was originally written for Queer Romance Month back in 2015, and the host website is no longer active. So I’m reposting it here, on my own blog.

Reading it over this over this morning, I felt no urge to change a single word. This post is as true today as it was four years ago. It’s why I write the stories I do, and why I continue to seek them out.

Enjoy–and let me know if you clicked the link at the end. (quiet, but evil laughter)


Everyday People

Ever since the debut episode of Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, I’ve had this ditty running through my head:

There is a blue one who can’t accept the green one
For living with a fat one trying to be a skinny one

Doesn’t make a lot of sense, eh? In fact, the whole song is full of such nonsense. But the refrain makes very clear what it’s all about:

I am everyday people, yeah yeah

It’s also very catchy and needs to get out of my head. But while it’s there, I’d going to talk about what this song means to me and, more specifically, the stories I like to read. The song is called “Everyday People” by Sly & the Family Stone and the sentiment isn’t new, but it’s one most of us can appreciate. No matter our race, colour, gender, size, profession, we’re everyday people. No matter who we love, we’re everyday people.

We all start out young and full of hope. We all have dreams. Most of us are looking for love and companionship. We’re looking for purpose. We crave success, and the feeling of being established. Many of us want families. We love our friends. We are heroes, and in need of rescuing. We are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. Sons and daughters. We can be either, or, or other.

We are parents swallowing tears as our eighteen-year-olds leave home for college. They think they’re adults, but they’ll forever be our children. We are moving into our first apartment and think the couch we found on the side of the road will smell better after three separate applications of Febreze. Despite what anyone else says, we believe pizza is a balanced meal. We are charmingly naïve and worldly at the same time. We are human, and we’re everyday people.

These are the stories I like to read.

Despite the fact I write science fiction and will read pretty much anything written, contemporary romance is one of my favourite genres. I love to immerse myself in the lives of others, and I don’t really care how ordinary they are, because love makes all of us feel extraordinary. We don’t need to be super soldiers, firefighters, werewolves, or telepathically linked to the Old One in order to save those we love. We just need to be there. In contemporary romance, we just have to love hard enough.

In particular, I like queer contemporary romance. I love the stories about couples who have been married or partnered for over a decade and are battling the same issues every enduring couple must face: growing within a relationship, romantic complacency, aging gracefully and raising children who think ramen is a balanced meal. Pizza is a much better choice, obviously.

To me, what makes these stories special—outside of the fact I can identify with all of these situations—is that it doesn’t matter what gender you are, or who you love. Regardless of our orientation, we’re still going to plan stupidly mundane vacations to the shore. We’re going to get sucked in by that Sunday morning advertisement for the FootLog, only to realise we’ve spent fifty dollars on a roll of Legos—and just about all of us know what it feels like to step on those evil little pieces of plastic.

I want to read about young hopefuls going off to college and/or leaving for the big city. I want to read about househusbands trying out new recipes and setting the kitchen on fire. I want to read about the guy next door falling for the guy next door. I want my sister to be comfortable with who she is. I want her to have her wedding, and—sadly for her—I want her tux, or grass skirt, or unitard emblazoned with a pocket logo of the rings of Saturn to show up wrinkled and maybe in the wrong colour.

Because these are the things that happen to everyday people.

Arguably, one of the delights of reading queer romance is the triumph over adversity—whether bigotry, fear, or a lack of self-esteem and awareness. And I do like reading these stories. There is no greater victory than against the odds.

But what I really love to read are stories about normal people doing normal things. Doing what I have done or might do. Stories I can identify with because I’m a human being. Because I have a partner who is lover and best friend. Because I have a child. Because I burn myself every time I make toast, and forbid my child to use the stairs when I’m not in the house. Because, honestly, while I look pretty “normal”, really, I’m not. We’re all a little queer—some of us more than others. And we all deserve stories, because we’re all…

Yep, I’m going to pull the song title out again…

We’re all everyday people and we’re all more than little bit interesting.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUUhDoCx8zc

Click it, you know you wanna. And I need someone else to have this song stuck in their head.

(featured image created using Canva)