Looking Back at 2019

This past year was a very productive one for me. I wrote and released a brand-new novel to kick off The West Hills series, the second book in my lesbian Colors series, two novels in my co-written The Speakeasy series with K Evan Coles, the third novel in my Midwest series, and a holiday novella in a shared universe with Hank Edwards.

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In addition, I have two more books that are around the 2/3 complete mark so there will be plenty to come in the new year. But before I dive into 2020, let’s recap all that happened in 2019.

I celebrated my six-year publishing anniversary in December.

I attended a record number of author events this year, including Pride Events, Penguicon, and the Gay Romance and Literature Convention in Albuquerque. I sold a record number of paperbacks, more than doubling the number I sold in the previous year.

My fan group increased in size and K Evan and I reached an amazing milestone with our joint newsletter. I taught myself how to make my Amazon and BookBub ads more effective.

I found new ways to build on the organizational plans I made last year and came up with some new ideas for how to continue that in 2020. I worked on building better reader engagement in my fan group and giving back to readers so they know how much I appreciate all they do to help support my writing.

I signed a contract to have my holiday story translated into French. It’ll be released next winter as apart of an amazing anthology and I am very excited about that.

Writing more books and enrolling them in Kindle Unlimited allowed me to more than triple my writing income.

This chart shows my sales from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.

2018-2019

Much of the profit I made was rolled back into things I desperately needed like a new laptop, desk chair, and ads. As I said last year, it’s all relative. I’m nowhere near where I need to be (namely, living somewhere other than my parents’ house) but I am leaps and bounds ahead of where I was last year. The trajectory for everything is upward and I know I’m on the right track.

I have a lot of hope that I can build this into the career I’ve always dreamed of.

Being a full-time author is still a hard job but I love it every bit as much as I did in the beginning.

I still love creating characters and stories and making them come alive. I love the feedback from readers and the connections I make with them through my books. I love that I have the opportunity to keep trying to support myself. It’s an amazing feeling to check my dashboard and see that I am reaching more readers. My books are finding their way to more people. I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished.

So once again, I want to thank all of you who helped me get there this year. K. Evan Coles, my co-author for more things than I can possibly sum up in a few lines. My parents for allowing me to pursue this crazy dream. My friends who cheer me on. The bloggers and reviewers and organizers and every single person who shared my book releases and helped spread the word about my books. My beta readers and my editors for making my books better. And all you readers. Because your joy in my stories is what keeps me going.

2017 and 2018 were tough for me but by the end of last year, I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In 2019, I moved forward with a lot more hope and confidence than I’d felt in a very long time.

So I’m going into 2020 with even more optimism and a plan to keep building on what I’ve laid the foundation for in the past two years. And a lot of hope and determination to make it all happen.

I can do this. I just need to keep trying.

I’m eager for what 2020 will bring and I look forward to celebrating the new successes next year. There’s so much to look forward to.

 

“A Brighter Palette” is Live!

Teaser Image

Summary:

Annie Slocum is a bisexual woman struggling to make a living as a freelance writer. Stuck in a rut, she feels bored with her career, her relationships—her life. A chance meeting with Siobhán at a gallery adds a bright spark to her dull life.

Siobhán Murray is a lesbian Irish painter living in Boston. She loves her career, loves her life, but she’s missing the one piece that will make her life complete—a partner. She falls hard for Annie and is delighted to realize Annie inspires her work. But a string of failed relationships has left her wary of bisexual women and wondering if she can trust that Annie won’t leave her.

When Siobhán’s past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to decide if the new relationship is something that will burn bright and end quickly or if it’s meant to last.

Excerpt:

“God, that accent of yours.”

To her surprise, Siobhán flushed. “Impenetrable, isn’t it?”

“No, sexy,” Annie said. She leaned in to kiss Siobhán’s shoulder. “Very, very sexy.”

“You must have enjoyed yourself in Ireland then,” Siobhán murmured.

“I did.” Annie smiled, remembering the redheaded woman she’d shared a bed with for most of the semester.

Siobhán’s grin was salacious. “That sounds like a story I’d like to hear.”

“Really?” Annie asked with a laugh. “You want to hear about Brigid, the pretty redhead I dated? Or about the time her roommate almost caught us? I had my head between her legs when the poor girl walked in the room.”

“How naughty. I love that. You’re so cool and collected on the outside, Annie, but once we started talking, I could see the passionate side eager to get out.”

“I used to have a very passionate side,” Annie admitted. “Actually, what I told you about the redhead wasn’t the whole story. There’s a lot more to it.”

“I’m intrigued.” Siobhán propped her chin up on her hand.

“Well, Nora—her roommate—was definitely shocked. But she was less horrified than Brigid and I expected.” Annie felt her cheeks heat a little. “One night a week or so later, the three of us had a few drinks, and well, Nora confessed she was curious.”

Siobhán raised an eyebrow. “Curious about women?”

“Yes.”

“Go on then.”

Annie laughed. “Well, one thing led to another, and it wasn’t long before I was in bed with two women. And Brigid and I showed Nora just how good it could be.”

“Mmm, you little minx. And what did she think in the morning?”

“Oh, we’d thoroughly converted her to our ways,” Annie said with a laugh. “I don’t think she had another date with a guy for the rest of the semester.”

“And did she find her way into another threesome with you and Brigid?”

“A few times,” Annie admitted. “In fact, after my going-away party, I staggered back to their room and had one hell of a going-away after-party.” She grinned at Siobhán. “And then I felt like I was going to die on the flight home to Boston.”

“Worth it though?”

“Totally.” Annie sighed. “But after I got back to the U.S., I threw myself into school and work, and everything else fell by the wayside. I felt like I had to grow up and be serious. Focus on my career, find the right partner, make the smart choices. Until tonight, it had been a very long time since my passionate side had come out.”

“Why were you keeping her locked away?”

Annie rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling. “Fear, I suppose. After my last relationship went south, I just couldn’t work up the courage to try again.” She sighed. “So, my love life was boring, my job was boring, and I felt boring. Boring leads to more boring. I was just waiting for something to come along and wake me up.”

Siobhán sat up and straddled Annie, her dark hair falling like a curtain around them. “Well, here I am.”

She leaned down and kissed Annie, her mouth tasting of wine and chocolate now.

Here you are, Annie thought, and she wasn’t sure if it was nerves or excitement that coursed through her when she realized she had no idea if this was one night or the promise of something more.

Series and Number: Colors #1

Publisher: Two Peninsulas Press (Indie/Self-Published)

Word Count /or Page Number: 56,025

Formats/Price: eBook – $3.99/ Print – Coming Soon

Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Barnes & Noble

First for Romance: Coming Soon

iTunes

Kobo

Payhip

Smashwords

Find On:

Goodreads

Queeromance

 

Upcoming Release – A Brighter Palette

Coming June 30, 2017 – A Brighter Palette

A little over two years ago, I wrote this flash fic.  I’ve been wanting to tell Annie and Siobhán’s story ever since.

I’ve been working hard on it this spring and I’m excited to announce that I will be releasing the first book in their series, “A Brighter Palette” on June 30.  The series will be the “Color” series. “A Brighter Palette” will include their first meeting in Boston at an art gallery and the beginning of their relationship. The second book, “The Greenest Isle” will follow their move to Ireland and their life there.

I don’t currently have any ideas for a third book, but that’s always a possibility! Sometimes the characters just demand more.

Without further ado, here’s the cover, blurb, and a teaser from the first book.

Teaser Image.png

Summary:

Annie Slocum is a bisexual woman struggling to make a living as a freelance writer. Stuck in a rut, she feels bored with her career, her relationships—her life. A chance meeting with Siobhán at a gallery adds a bright spark to her dull life.

Siobhán Murray is a lesbian Irish painter living in Boston. She loves her career, loves her life, but she’s missing the one piece that will make her life complete—a partner. She falls hard for Annie and is delighted to realize Annie inspires her work. But a string of failed relationships has left her wary of bisexual women and wondering if she can trust that Annie won’t leave her.

When Siobhán’s past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to decide if the new relationship is something that will burn bright and end quickly or if it’s meant to last.

Excerpt:

Annie pressed her palms to her cheeks. “I got a little carried away.”

Siobhán straightened but didn’t slide away. “I enjoyed watching you get carried away. We’ll have to do that again when we aren’t in such a public place.”

Annie glanced around. Thankfully, they were toward the back of the nearly empty lounge and the backs of the booths had dividers. Unless a waitress had walked by, it was unlikely anyone had seen them.

“This is so unlike me,” Annie admitted.

Siobhán tilted her chin and gave Annie an appraising look. “Perhaps it’s just what you need.”

Annie’s embarrassment began to fade, and she offered Siobhán a small smile. “I certainly could use a bit more excitement in my life,” she admitted. “Although, that doesn’t necessarily include a public exhibition.”

“Public exhibition is optional,” Siobhán said, “but passion shouldn’t be.”


“A Brighter Palette” is available for Pre-Order on Amazon now!

Flash Fiction Monday – Family History Pt. 2

 

July 4

“Oh! Look at this one, Amelia.” Lena passed a photo to her.

Amelia inspected it closely. Two young women ran through a city street, hand-in-hand, soaked to the skin by a rain storm. There as inches of standing water and they clutched their shoes in their free hands. Jeanette Fleming and Ada March, 1934 was inscribed on the back. “Did you see the back?”

Lena pressed her chin to Amelia’s shoulder. “They look so young.”

“They were,” Amelia replied. “Jeanette was born in 1920 so she would have been fourteen at the time. I’m not sure about Ada, but I think they were roughly the same age.”

“Jeanette’s lovely in this photo, but she really grew into herself in her late teens.” Lena shifted so she was sitting upright.

Amelia reached over and poked Lena’s thigh. “Stop perving on my grandmother.”

“It’s only because you resemble her so much.”

“Nice save.” She leaned in and brushed her lips against Lena’s.

“I wonder who took the photo.”

“I have no idea,” Amelia admitted. “I feel like this box of photos raises more questions than it answers.”

Lena nodded, her expression thoughtful. “Is this the only box?”

“No, there’s another. Actually, if I remember right, there are letters in the other box. I inherited them both after grandma’s death and haven’t had time to sort through them until now. Amelia had stumbled across them in the guest room closet a few days ago. Looking at the photos had derailed her spring cleaning plans, but she and Lena were having too much fun to care.

Lean’s eyes lit up. “Letters? I wonder if there’s anything juicy in them.”

“I doubt it. Probably lots of talk about church festivals and such.”

“Your grandmother was a pin-up girl, Amelia. She may have attended church festivals, but the woman clearly had a rebellious streak.”

“You have a good point. Still, I highly doubt they’re that juicy. If they were romantically involved, they would have been breaking the law to do it.”

“Well, let’s stop talking about what might be in the letters and read what is in them. I’m dying of curiosity.” Always decisive, Lena stood and strode from the room. Her skin gleamed in the late afternoon sunlight, on display in the denim shorts and white tank she wore. God she was beautiful. Running had honed her muscles to a sleek definition. They’d gone to the lake recently and she was lightly tanned. Sometimes just looking at Lena made Amelia’s heart stop.

“What’s that look for?” Lena gently sat the box on the floor beside the couch.

Amelia shook her head to clear it. She’d been so lost in thought she hadn’t noticed Lena’s return.

“Thinking about you.” Amelia lay back on the couch and held out a hand to Lena. “As curious as I am about the letters, I think they can wait a bit.”

Lena smirked as she closed the distance between them, settling over top of Amelia. “What did you have in mind?”

“I don’t know. But hopefully something juicy enough to include in a letter.”

Lena laughed softly as Amelia drew her in for a kiss, the boxes of photos and letters temporarily forgotten.


Technically, the timeline doesn’t really work for these photos. Today’s photo is clearly of a later time period than 1934, but it worked so well with the previous flash fic I’d written that I couldn’t resist!

A novel telling Lena and Amelia’s story and their hunt for clues about Jeanette and Ada’s relationship is starting to come together and I’m really looking forward to writing it.

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 – Family History

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“That was your grandmother?” Lena turned the photograph over to see Jeanette Fleming – 1943 in beautiful looping script on the back.

Amelia nodded. “Grandma was unique, to say the least.”

“Apparently.” Lena looked at the photo of a young, dark-haired woman perched on the edge of a rocky cliff. Inside of a giant egg. There were holes for her face and legs—slender, shapely legs at that—but none for her arms. Bizarre. When she glanced up, Amelia’s face was filled with mirth. For a moment, Lena could see the resemblance between daughter and granddaughter in the shape of her mouth and her laughing eyes. Not to mention the legs.

“So what was this photo for?” Lena asked. “I know you said she was a model in the 40s, but I’m perplexed about what kind of advertising campaign calls for a woman inside an egg suit.”

“It wasn’t an ad.” Amelia sipped tea from a large, blue ceramic mug. “She was a pinup.”

Lena eyed the photo skeptically. “I know the troops were hard up for women, but I would have thought the Vargas pinup girls would have been a lot more appealing than an egg. Unless this is some sort of straight-person fetish I’m unaware of.”

Amelia threw her head back and laughed. “I don’t believe so. It was part of a whole Easter series. You’ll find a few more of the photos somewhere in this box. There’s ones of her in bunny ears and a tail too.”

“Now that makes more sense to me,” Lena said drily as she set the photo aside. She picked up another photo that showed two women embracing. “Your grandma and her sister?”

“No, that’s Jeanette’s best friend Ada.”

“They look close.”

Amelia slid closer to Lena on the couch. “There are rumors they were a bit more than friends.”

“Really?” Lena inspected the photo more closely. It was always hard to tell with vintage photographs.

“It’s been a persistent family rumor. Supposedly they were involved before she settled down with my grandpa.”

“Hmm. Do you think she married because she had to? Because she couldn’t be with Ada?”

“I can’t be sure of course, but I don’t think so,” Amelia said slowly. “She and grandpa always seemed to be in love. They held hands all the time and one time I caught them kissing—quite passionately—when she was hanging up the washing on the line and he came to help.”

“Interesting.” Lena mulled over the idea. “I wonder if she was bisexual.”

“I don’t suppose we’ll ever know,” Amelia said with a soft sigh. She slipped an arm around Lena’s waist, and Lena pulled her closer. “She’s not around to ask.”

“What a shame,” Lena said. “I wish I’d met her.”

“You two would have gotten along famously.”

“Want to keep searching for clues about Jeanette and Ada’s relationship?” Lena asked, dragging the box of photos onto her lap so she could continue to search through them without letting go of her girlfriend.

“I’d love to.”


I had NO idea where I was going with this when I posted the photo, but I am really pleased with the way this turned out. Did you enjoy it?

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!

Brigham’s Recommendations – Stuck Landing by Lauren Gallagher

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Summary:

For months, acclaimed Wolf’s Landing director/producer Anna Maxwell has been nursing a crush on Natalya Izmaylova, a former Russian gymnast and current Wolf’s Landing stunt coordinator. When Anna witnesses Natalya’s very public breakup with her boyfriend, she can’t resist inviting her over for drinks to commiserate about love and all that nonsense. Commiseration doesn’t last long, and soon Anna’s in bed with the hottest woman she’s ever touched, living out fantasies she didn’t even know she had.

Despite the amazing sex, Anna wants to proceed with caution. They’re both newly single. They’re colleagues. And there’s the not-so-small matter of Anna’s biphobia.

Natalya won’t commit to someone who clings to ridiculous stereotypes, but they can’t avoid each other at work, and there’s no ignoring their chemistry. Anna’s defenses are slowly eroding, and Natalya is willing to give her another chance. But Natalya only has so much patience, and even scorching-hot sex won’t keep her coming back forever. If Anna doesn’t come to her senses soon and let go of her prejudices—not to mention her insecurities—she’s going to lose the woman of her dreams.

Review:

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the “Bluewater Bay” series or that I am a fan of L.A. Witt’s writing, whether she’d doing it under that name or as Lauren Gallagher. So when I realized she had written a lesbian romance as part of the “Bluewater Bay” series I was thrilled.

I don’t read a lot of lesbian stories. Mostly because I lack the time to keep up with all of the amazing books in the m/m genre, much less read lesbian fiction on top of it, but I was glad I took the time to read this. I found “Stuck Landing” very enjoyable.

In the previous books in the series, we caught glimpses of the main characters in “Stuck Landing” and saw the crumbling of Anna Maxwell’s relationship and her growing attraction to Natalya Izmaylova. This book can certainly be read as a standalone novel, but having that backstory was nice. It added an additional layer to the story.

Anna and Natalya were interesting and well thought out characters. They’re both driven, successful women, but the author did a fantastic job showing where they differed and how that impacted their approach to a relationship. For example, Anna’s career as a director and producer has developed into a need to control the relationship she’s in. Natalya’s career as a gymnast and stunt woman means she’s more willing to dive in and risk it all. It was a nice contrast, because it gave them enough in common to build a foundation, but a source of tension as they went from  hooking up to being in a relationship.

The author also did a fantastic job addressing the issue of biphobia. It’s something that many bi people have experienced (myself included) and I was very pleased to see it as part of the storyline. Much of Anna’s growth as a character was centered on acknowledging her prejudices and letting go of them.  Natalya’s frustration with Anna’s beliefs came from her previous experiences with biphobic people and made the resolution of those issues even more satisfying.

Lauren Gallagher delivered a story with great pacing, complex characters, steamy romance and love scenes, and a solid resolution at the end. Highly recommended.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Riptide Publishing