Six Year Publishing Anniversary

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As of today, I’ve been published for six years! I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown and I am so grateful for everyone who has helped support me along the way.

To celebrate, I’m giving away six ebooks in my Facebook fan group! If you want to enter, go to Brigham’s Book Nerds on Facebook and comment on the giveaway post!
Thank you for all of your love and support! I couldn’t do this without you!

Halloween Derby!

The Halloween Derby is here! It includes both writing and artwork and they are being shared now through October 31 as blog posts or downloadable files.  All content is FREE!

For the Derby, I co-authored a short story called Inked in Blood with K. Evan Coles. She also wrote a fabulous short story called Moonlight that you definitely need to check out.

 

Universal download link for Inked in Blood: https://books2read.com/u/4EyjOA

Universal download link for Moonlight: https://books2read.com/u/38rNBd


We’ve also set up a Prolific Works/Instafreebie group giveaway for the Derby that includes Inked and Moonlight among its ten FREE spooky reads!

(Click on the button below to go to the giveaway)


To wrap up the Derby, we’ve organized a Facebook event. It’s a great opportunity to meet the authors and artists who participated. You can ask them questions and learn more about their work. We might even have a few extra treats for you, so be sure to join us!

(Click on the button below to go to the event)


I originally intended to write a solo short story for the Halloween Derby as well. Unfortunately, as they’re wont to do, the plot bunny turned rabid and sunk his teeth into me. This nice little short story quickly turned into a paranormal BDSM series.

Since I am trying to stay focused and stick to a much stricter schedule of when I write and release my books, I had to set it aside. It won’t be available until at least mid-2019.

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If the picture piques your interest, you’ll definitely want to sign up for the Coles & Vaughn newsletter. If you join now, we’ll send you an exclusive teaser for “Blood Bound”!

(Click on the image below to go to the sign-up form)

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Flash Fiction Monday – Red

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Kendra walked slowly along the driveway. Gravel dug into the bottoms of her feet, painting the rock with red with every step she took. The sounds of taunts still rang in her ears.

“Freak.”

“Dyke.”

“Psycho!”

“Killer!”

She’d heard them all before. Had been hearing the first three most of her life, although they’d gotten progressively nastier in the past six months. And it hurt worse when she’d tried so hard to be normal tonight. She’d dressed up in a pretty teal dress and let her mom take photos. She’d gone to prom with Kevin—her neighbor and best friend—and tried to pretend she was just like all the rest of the kids. But it had turned ugly fast. She’d gotten separated from Kevin at some point and now here she was, with bare, bloody feet, heading toward the last place she’d seen Dana alive.

The old Thompson house had been abandoned for years. She and Dana were the only ones who ever went there. They liked to poke around the gently decaying property and lay under the big old oak tree and kiss.

Kendra let out a sigh of relief as she reached the porch. The bare, rotting boards felt good on her feet after the sharp rocks. There was still caution tape on the doors and broken windows were boarded up. But Kendra knew the trick to getting through the back-entrance off the kitchen.

The floor in the dining room was mostly gone now, just a gaping hole where the scarred wooden boards had given way.  Kendra still didn’t know how it had happened. Or what had even happened. One minute she and Dana were exploring, joking about the fact that Dana was probably going to get tetanus from the cut on her hand, and then the floor was gone.

And so was Dana.

Kendra hadn’t been able to explain it to the police. Or the shrinks they’d sent her to. But they’d finally released her. There was no evidence that Kendra had done anything to her girlfriend.  Just rumor and suspicion. She hadn’t told them about the rest. The things no one would ever believe.

Kendra took a seat on the edge of the gaping hole. “Why didn’t you take me?” she whispered, voicing aloud the question that had been nagging at her ever since. “Why Dana? Why not me?”

She closed her eyes against the hot sting of tears. Cool, musty air wafted up from the basement. Her feet throbbed and she wondered if the faint drip, drip, drip came from a leaking pipe or the bloody soles.

A blast of warm, fresh air washed over her and, in the distance, Kendra could hear Dana’s laughter.


Sorry I haven’t been writing and posting flash fics much. I’ve been doing a ton of other writing though and I was glad to be able to join in this week!

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Wish I Was There Giveaway

I’m dealing with a serious case of GRL envy right now. I went in 2014 as a reader and had such a wonderful time meeting people and spending a weekend thinking about books.

I swore I’d go in 2015, but life didn’t cooperate. And 2016 hasn’t been any better.

I am, needless to say, hoping 2017 will be the year!

Honestly, this past year hasn’t gone the way I’ve planned at all. I am struggling to figure out how to get books finished and out faster. I think I actually did better with it when I had the full-time job (although my health really suffered).  I haven’t quite found that balance yet.

I’m earning enough as a writer to pay my bills, but not enough to move out of my parents’ house yet. *sighs*

It’s frustrating. I feel like I’m very close to things coming together but I am not quite sure what I need to do to make that happen.

But, many, many good things are happening so I’m trying to focus on that.

This past week, my co-writer and I submitted a novel to a publisher that we’ve been working on for three years! Technically, we’ve been working on two novels (with a combined word count of nearly 200k) for three years, but we submitted the first one and are very excited about it. We should hear back in about six weeks. Eep!

I am also working on an expansion of “Pain Management”. It was the short story that was part of the “Dr. Feelgood” anthology through Dreamspinner Press. The rights have reverted back to me so I am going to expand the 10k short into a novella. I hope to release that in November.

And I am 60k words into a novel that is coming together very well. It’s in the hands of one of my betas at the moment and I am hoping that have that out by January!

In non-writing related news, my annual Stratford, Ontario weekend vacation starts tomorrow. So I’ll be going to see “Macbeth” and “As You Like It”. I’ll spend the rest of the time wandering around a pretty little town, eating delicious food, and taking photos. It’s always a lovely, relaxing time.

My Kindle app is loaded with books and I am going to do my best to do a minimum of work. Ideally none, but I’m not always very good at that.

Taking the trip the same weekend as GRL wasn’t planned, but it did work nicely. I am glad I won’t be at home moping about not getting to hang out with my favorite authors and readers!

So I thought I’d do something to make life a little more fun for those of us who can’t be at GRL.

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I’m offering a giveaway of one of my eBook titles to anyone who comments with what you would enjoy most about going to a writing convention! You can answer as either a reader or a writer (or both!).

BUT, there’s a little catch. If you see this posted on my blog, go to my FB fan group (Brigham’s Book Nerds) and comment there. If you see this in the Book Nerds group, comment on my blog.

And if you are an amazing fan who already has all of my eBooks, leave a comment anyway and we’ll figure out something else for your prize. 🙂

I will pick the winner tomorrow morning, so don’t wait to enter!

Flash Fiction Monday -Something New

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“How do you feel?” Raul asked.

Angelo burrowed closer, his cheek pressed against the soft black cotton of Raul’s T-shirt. “Drunk.”  His eyelids felt heavy and there was a strange and wonderful lightness in his head. Tension? Stress? He couldn’t remember what those things were. “High maybe? I dunno. Gooood.”

The rumble of Raul’s laugh under his ear was as warm and comforting as his hug. “It was okay then?”

“Okay?” Angelo wanted to sit upright and give Raul an incredulous look, but he was too content to move. “That was  … perfect. More than I expected.” He rubbed his cheek against Raul’s chest like a cat.

“I was so fucking scared. Despite the classes and all the research, I was scared shitless to actually hit you.”

“I know.” Angelo rubbed circles over Raul’s heart with his palm. That was why he’d trusted Raul to tie him up and flog him. There was no one more meticulous than Raul. He’d been so hesitant at first to bring it up with his partner. How did you tell a guy you wanted him to hit you? It wasn’t like there was anything wrong with their sex life. It was already amazing. Why mess with it? But the thought, the need, had nagged at him until he’d finally caved. To his relief, Raul had listened to him and told him he’d consider it.

It had taken months to get from that conversation to this point, because Raul never did anything halfway. Once he decided he wanted to try it, he’d thrown himself into it with the fervor of a starving man. Online research, classes, getting involved with the community, he’d taken part in it all. Angelo had been starting to worry that Raul was using “research” as an excuse to not actually act on the fantasies they’d discussed. Angelo worried too that Raul was just doing it to please him.

“Did you  … did you like it, or at least not hate it?” he asked hesitantly. A part of him just wanted to drift in the sleepy bliss that kept threatening to overtake him, but he had to know. Because he wanted this again, but not if it didn’t make Raul happy too.

Raul shifted and took Angelo’s hand and settled it over the hard length in his shorts. “What do you think?”


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – No Joke

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Zach paused and nodded toward the sign on the chain link fence inside of the research facility. “Ya gotta wonder what made them put that up there. Somebody’s idea of a joke or what?”

DO NOT GIVE THE BISON PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES it read.

Gary answered with a non-committal grunt like he always did when Zach made stupid ass comments.  But the moment his back was turned, Gary shuddered and leaned on his rake. It was no joke. He’d been there that night when they’d run the experiment.

He’d seen things. Horrible things. Things that haunted his nightmares.

Those were no ordinary bison. They were demonic beats. Like minotaurs, but larger. He’d seen the red glow of their eyes and the way they’d transformed into lustful half-men.

“Just don’t forget what it says.” His voice was hoarse and scratchy.

Zach turned back to him with a puzzled frown. “What was that?”

“The sign. Don’t every fucking forget it.” He carefully raked the old, soiled straw toward the wheelbarrow. “It’s no joke, man.”


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Not Like the Movies

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It isn’t like the movies.

Vampires aren’t chalk white with pointy fangs and glowing red eyes. Sunlight and crosses have no effect and people don’t go around hunting them. Truth be told, vampires and humans manage to co-exist pretty peacefully. It hadn’t always been like that, of course. There was a nasty period about thirty years back when they came out of the monster closet and we tried to kill each other, but in the end both sides realized it was in their best interest to get along. They need our blood and we need them to keep us alive after they take it.

Generally, they aren’t anywhere near as attractive as they are in the movies either—ugly people become vampires and pretty much stay ugly—but the two across the bar from me could have gotten a part in Hollywood without blinking. Since vampire charm and mind control are as much of a legend as the fear of garlic, that’s pretty impressive.

Honestly, these two are just damn good looking.

“Want another?”

I look up from the beer I’ve been nursing for the past hour and shake my head at the bartender. She’s been trying to get my attention for half the night. She’s cute enough—if you’re into the butch look—I guess.

I’m not.

Guess she swings both ways though, because I’m as male as the vampires across the room who I’ve been watching. I sneak a peek out of the corner of my eye, but they haven’t budged.

That’s how you know they’re vampires. They don’t move a lot. They can, and they’re pretty damn strong and quick when they want, but they don’t have to be. Some prefer to blend in with us humans and mimic our movements, but others don’t give a fuck. These two have been leaning against the wall of the bar for an hour and have barely stirred. Bathed in the red glow of a neon sign, they could be posing for a photoshoot. The one closer to me has on an open leather vest, his thumb in his pocket, and is vaguely reminiscent of the better looking Franco brother. Or is it the guy from the horrible Star Wars movie with that Natalie whatsherface? I’m total crap at pop culture references, but he’s a pretty boy. Lean but muscular.

The guy with his arm around the pretty boy is equally good looking and fit. But he reminds me of a model from the awful clothing store that always reeked of frat boy cologne and plastered vaguely homoerotic pictures of preppy men frolicking together on their advertisements. He’s smoking a cigarette and staring off into space.

I prefer my men rougher around the edges and not undead, but I’m not going to have a hard time pretending to be turned on by them either. I’ve been watching them for a couple of weeks now. I’m sure they’ve noticed me watching them, and I’ve dropped hints here and there that I’ve got a vampire fetish but haven’t quite gotten the nerve to approach one.

It couldn’t be further from the truth. Still, it’s a damn good cover for my real purpose: investigating the death of my best friend. All roads lead to these two and I’m not above seducing them to learn more.  The preppy one drops his cigarette on the floor and grinds it out under his heel.

When his gaze meets mine I feel my heart kick into high gear. I don’t take my eyes off him as I slide some money across the bar and stand. My mouth tastes like cheap beer and anxiety as I cross the room.

The pretty boy turns and his full lips curl up into a knowing little smile.

“Are you coming?”

I’m not sure if the surge of elation and arousal I feel is because the next phase of my plan is about to start or because I’m going home with two vampires.

“Thought you’d never ask.”


Well, I went over the word count and I’m late posting, but I think it is a story I want to tell in the future. What do you think?

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Queen Cecile

In June of last year, I wrote a flash called Protector of the Night Spirits. The photo below sparked an idea and I’ve continued the story.

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Cecile closed her eyes. The small boat continued to glide forward through the water, sunlight glinting off its surface. She didn’t need to see the path ahead of her to guide the craft, or its precious cargo.

The war in Lyman city had been raging for nearly a year. Even with an ocean between them, Cecile had heard stories of the horrors taking place. The ministers and advisers had warned Cecile not to get involved, after all, it wasn’t their fight.

“Why should the people of Reddick risk their lives for the Lymanites?” they’d argued.

But as reports filtered in of magical creatures being captured and tortured, Cecile had grown increasingly heartsick. How could they sit there and do nothing? How could they allow that to happen? Wizards were nothing to be trifled with, but Cecile’s magic was older. Less showy, perhaps, but more powerful. How could she, as ruler, allow these atrocities to take place?

When the news spread that The Protector of the Night Spirits had been found, Cecile knew it was the sign she’d been hoping for.

Unwilling to risk her troops, she made a plan in secret. She sent messages to The Protector, using her flock of birds. It was the only communication she could be sure was safe from wizard monitoring.

In the wee hours of the night, Cecile had cloaked herself in invisibility and made for the shore. Alone. The sky had barely begun to lighten as the wooden craft, carrying a burlap wrapped seedling, had set out for Lyman. Now, at midday, the tree had grown toward the sky, thick-trunked with spreading, leafy branches. The small portal glowed within, its magic kindling.

It was dark by the time Cecile reached the far shore north of Lyman city. A lone figure stood on the beach. She was several years younger than Cecile, but her face looked worn and weary. Physically still a young girl, but mentally far from that. She was dressed as an aviator, covered in soot, and she greeted Cecile with a short, sharp nod.

“Your Majesty.”

Cecile stepped from the bow of the boat and held out a hand to young, weary Protector of the Night Spirits. “Call me Cecile. I’ve come to help.”

She shook it firmly. “Delia Caldwell.”

Cecile had no interest in wasting precious time. “I’ve brought the portal.”

For the first time, a crack appeared in Delia’s hardened demeanor. “You’ve come just in time, then. My plane was shot down yesterday and we can’t seem to get it running. I was beginning to lose hope,” Delia admitted.

Cecile lay a comforting hand on the girl’s shoulder. “Let’s sit and make our plan then. We have much work ahead of us to save the magical creatures of Lyman City.”


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics for this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

 

Flash Fiction Monday – The Power of Suggestion

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for me with writing. Two friends are going through rough times in their lives, I passed the one-year anniversary of when my ex and I split, and my left wrist staged a revolt.

I’ve never had any problems with tendonitis before, but I do sleep with my hands in funny positions and I’ve been swimming 3-4 times a week. I think those things, combined with writing, finally did my left wrist in. I spent the past week icing it, taking anti-inflammatories, using a wrist brace, doing gentle physical therapy exercises and, mostly, giving it a rest. It’s slowly improving and today was the first time in a week I’ve written more than a few sentences at a time.

My novels are on hold for the moment, but I am going to order an ergonomic keyboard and hopefully in another week or so, be back on track.

Without further ado, here’s my flash fic for the week!

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This is the resort you were raving about?” Stuart’s lip curled into an all-too-familiar sneer. “Their sunset dinner on the beach looks like a four-year-old’s birthday party.”

I stifled a sigh and settled the Panama hat more firmly on my head before the ocean breeze carried it away. The resort did have a casual vibe, with brightly colored, kitschy decorations like tiki torches and light up flamingos, but it wouldn’t kill Stuart to unwind for once.

“It also has white sand beaches, 5-star quality food, and the best drinks I’ve ever had,” I reminded him.

“If the food doesn’t deliver, I’m out of here,” Stuart threatened. “I mean it, Charlie.”

“I know you do, darling.” I patted Stuart’s shoulder and he made a grumbling noise in the back of his throat but allowed me to steer him toward the party on the beach.

To be fair, Stuart was paid to be critical. He’d worked as a restaurant critic for years. He was insufferable when we traveled, however.

I made a beeline for the bar, leaving Stuart to find a table for us. His sneer was firmly in place when I returned with two drinks.

“Mai Tai’s?”

“Just drink it. I asked the bartender to add a little something extra for you. It should help loosen you up.”

Stuart’s sneer melted into a look of contemplation. “Maybe this place is looking up after all.”

I knew he wouldn’t be averse to a little experimentation—it wouldn’t be the first time we’d indulged while on vacation—and lord knows, I needed all the help I could get. The last thing I wanted was Stuart pouting in our suite all night.

“Cheers!” We clinked glasses and he took a hearty sip.

“Not bad,” was his grudging verdict.

I smiled and looked out over the waves.

***

Several hours later, after a dinner that even Stuart had deemed exceptional, we stumbled from the dance floor toward the bonfire. I dropped onto a driftwood log with a quiet groan of relief. We hadn’t danced like that in ages.

I glanced over at Stuart. With several drinks in him, his cheeks were flushed and his normally tidy hair was wind-ruffled.

He slid an arm around my waist and leaned in. “What do you say we head back to our suite?”

“Aren’t you having fun?”

“I am. But I thought it might be more fun to take you to our room and thank you for bringing me to such a great place.”

I knew that was the closest I’d get to an apology for his early pouting, and decided to take it. “Sure, but you’re going to have to get me off this log.”  I’d just sat down and the hike across the sand to the main building seemed awfully far.

With arms wrapped around each other’s waists, we stumbled toward the lights of the resort. Stuart paused and nuzzled against my cheek with his lips. “What was in those drinks, anyway? I feel incredible.”

I laughed. “Just a little extra rum.”

Stuart sputtered in surprise as I dragged him toward our room.

The good news was, Stuart never held grudges for long.


 

 

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

Flash Fiction Monday – Travis and Santiago

“I have to go.” Travis’ tone was reluctant.

Santiago burrowed closer, his grip tightening around Travis’ waist. “Are you sure?”

“You know I do. Coming here tonight was risky enough.” Santiago’s father was having a huge party and Travis had nearly chickened out. Skirting the brightly lit areas of the huge estate was difficult under normal circumstances, but the party was being held outdoors by the pool and with caterers, staff, and guests milling around, he’d nearly been caught a handful of times. The cover of the noisy party had been tempting, though, and he and Santiago had taken advantage of it. Travis had even allowed himself a small whimper as he came down Santiago’s throat. And they’d both enjoyed an uncharacteristic leisurely shower together, knowing that Santiago’s parents were otherwise occupied.

Travis captured Santiago’s mouth with his own and enjoyed a thorough kiss before he pulled away. “I’ll see you at work tomorrow, okay?”

Santiago pouted, but nodded and let him go.

Travis peered through the curtains, then opened the balcony door and stepped onto the patio. He scanned the grounds, but the coast was clear. The party was still going—although starting to wind down from the sounds of it—and he thought he could make it away safely without anyone noticing. With a fleeting smile to his boyfriend, he swung over the railing and lowered himself. He was halfway down when Santiago leaned over the edge and reached for him. “I love you.”

Travis smiled up at him and braced himself so he could let go with one hand. He reached up, grabbed Santiago’s hand and planted a kiss on the back of it. “I love you too.”

Without another word, Travis let go, deftly scrambling down the iron railing and shimmying down the post. He gave Travis one backward glance before slipping into the shrubs. He carefully maneuvered through the underbrush and into the wooded area behind the house. He knew the area like the back of his hand—he’d been sneaking in and out of Santiago’s room for the better part of a year—but he knew if he didn’t stay vigilant, he’d be caught.

On high alert, Travis heard the snap of a twig behind him and froze, his heart pounding so hard he could hardly hear over the rush of blood in his ears.Please be a couple wanting some privacy or a waiter sneaking a cigarette, he silently pleaded. Please, please don’t catch me.

The son of the town’s biggest environmentalist being caught sneaking out of the bedroom of the son of the owner of Ortega Oil was a recipe for disaster.  Emanuel Ortega was conservative as hell in both his business and his personal life. Wilson Becker was liberal, but he would never condone his son’s involvement with Santiago.

His heart in his throat, his pulse racing like a terrified rabbit, Travis could do nothing but stay perfectly still and hope that whoever was in the trees nearby wouldn’t find him.


The picture had a Romeo & Juliet vibe and I decided to run with it. The most original take on it? Nope. But it was fun to write.

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!