Corked is Live (Almost Everywhere)!

Corked Cover

Unfortunately, I had a few hiccups with my book release yesterday. WordPress didn’t seem to want to let me create a new blog post (grr). The books didn’t go live in time on Barnes & Noble and Kobo (still waiting on Kobo). But I’m still very excited to announce that “Corked” is available for sale!

Available Now

In my previous post, I talked a bit about how the three books in “The Wine Tasting Series” became “Corked” but I should also talk about how the “Corked” cover came to be. I live in Michigan and I’ve made several trips to the Traverse City area for wine tastings with friends, so this is an area (and subject!) near and dear to my heart.

As I usually do, I took oodles of photos when I was there. I unearthed those photos when I planned the cover of “Corked” and was delighted to find the perfect image for it. Can’t you just picture Sean and Lucas strolling through the vines and admiring the view?

Corked Vineyard

Summary:

Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.

There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.

Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.

Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?

Excerpt:

“I want to talk to Richard about setting up some classes at the restaurant, maybe on Sundays after brunch, kind of an ‘intro to wine’ type of thing explaining the different types of wine and how to properly taste them.”

“Sounds great,” Sean said and then added, “Hey, I meant to ask, did Richard respond to your earlier text?”

“Oh, I’m not sure,” Lucas replied, handing Sean the box containing the half case of wine they’d purchased. He fished in his pocket for the phone. He pulled it out, smiling at the photo of Sean in the vintage truck he’d set as his background before he noticed the text notification. “Looks like he did.”

“Oh, yeah? What did he say?” Sean asked.

Lucas nearly tripped getting on the trolley as he read Richard’s response.

What is wrong with you two? You think about fucking at work and work during your vacation instead of fucking. Stop thinking about my goddamn restaurant and go screw.

He was still laughing as they took their seats, and Sean had to wrestle the phone away from him to see the message. “Richard!” he exclaimed, his hand going to his forehead to rub at his temples. “Jesus, that man is incorrigible.”

“He’s your friend,” Lucas pointed out, still laughing as he took his phone back and replied to Richard.

“I don’t claim him!” Sean protested. “Besides, he’s your friend now, too.”

“Damn it,” Lucas muttered jokingly. “That’s what I get for dating you. Couldn’t you have brought something better to the relationship than Richard Brayden?”

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Foggy and Out of Step

Chicago Skyline Aerial

It’s taking me a while to get back into the swing of things after being gone.  GRL was wonderful and so was the time spent in downtown Chicago.  I desperately needed those two weeks to unwind and recharge. But now that I’m back I feel … off.  Like I’m not synced up with the world and am half a step out of beat.

After two weeks of not writing and barely checking in on social media, it’s hard to get back into the routine I had.  I don’t know if that means I need to find a new routine or just be patient while I adjust to real life again.

I am back to writing; in fact I had a great breakthrough on my novel and am finally making progress after I stalled for way too long. Being at work is tough though and I can’t seem to get back into it.

I’m sure the time change for daylight savings time isn’t helping, but that’s not it either.  I just wish the foggy, surreal feeling would go away. I don’t like feeling like I’m not present in my own life.

Anyone else feel like this?

p.s. The photo above is not one I took of Chicago although I have tons of photos from there that I still need to edit.  Hopefully I can tackle them in the near future.

 

Excitement and Anxiety

I’d originally written this blog post about a week out from the start of GRL and my trip to Chicago.  Well, I kept forgetting to post it, and when I finally did go to post it, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  *sighs*  That tells you exactly where my brain’s been all week.

So here we go.  Take two.

When I signed up for the GayRomLit Retreat last winter, I was really excited.  Some time off work, a trip to a city I hadn’t been to in a long time, a chance to meet friends I’ve only talked to online, and an opportunity to learn more about writing and the m/m romance world?  Awesome!

When I decided to take two weeks off work and turn it into an extended vacation that was even better.  I’d get to spend some time with friends outside of the writing world then meet my husband and parents downtown and enjoy the city. Yay, vacation! Even more awesome!

But now, it’s not awesome.  Now it’s just terrifying.  Now it’s like the first day of a new job and school anxiety combined with vacation logistics all rolled into one giant clusterfuck of panic.  I want to curl up in a little ball and cry and have someone pet my hair and tell me it’s going to be okay.  The stupid thing is, I know it will.  I’ve done way crazier shit than this.  At nineteen or so, I hopped on a Greyhound bus with my best friend and we took it from Lansing to Manhattan to meet a couple of guys, one of which I only sort of knew.  About a year later I flew to New York by myself (to see one of those guys who I wound up dating for nearly a year). I’ve gone to Paris twice.  I’ve lived through an apartment fire.

I can handle shit, I know that.  Once I get there I’ll be fine.  The anxiety will ebb away and I’m sure I’ll have a blast.

But right now it doesn’t feel that way.  Right now it’s the kind of anxiety that twists my stomach.  If someone offered me a full refund on the conference I would take it.  If I could back out without losing money and disappointing everyone, I’d jump on it.  If I could quit without feeling like I’d let myself down, I would.  Except, I don’t want to be a person who lets my fears get in the way of awesome things.  I want to be brave and do things that scare me.

So for now it’s just one foot in front of the other as I check things off on my To Do list and try to keep the panic to a dull roar.

I leave tomorrow for Chicago.  It’s about a four hour drive from here.  I’ll head straight for Roger’s Park where my friend lives.  I’ll probably hang out at a coffee shop for a bit while she finishes her work day.  I’ll have a little time to decompress and then we can spend some time together on Tuesday and go to dinner which I am really looking forward to.

GRL starts with a Writer’s Workshop on Wed. and the rest of the retreat is Thursday through Sunday.  Sunday I’ll meet my husband and parents downtown and we’ll stay until the following Friday.  We have plans to go to the museums and aquarium and check out the downtown.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Now if only I could convince my anxious little brain of that.

p.s. Oh, and that cry I needed? I got that.  A friend sent me a really lovely, supportive message just as I was finishing this up and it made me cry.  Just a quick, hard cry but it helped a lot.

I can do this.