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into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas.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?”

Buy Links:

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Kobo: PENDING

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Coming Soon – Corked (Wine Tasting Series Re-Release)

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Four years ago, very early on in my publishing journey, I wrote Spit or Swallow. It was a funny and hot little short story about a wine distributor and a sommelier butting heads over wine.

I hadn’t originally planned to write Aftertaste, but readers clamored for more of Sean and Lucas’s story, and I eventually wrapped up their happily-ever-after with Finish. 

Because they were short stories, I didn’t get an overwhelming amount of sales. I thought bundling them into a single file as The Wine Tasting Series might help, but the sales were even lower for that. Some of it, I think, was a lackluster cover and lack of promotion. I had other projects to work on though that needed to take priority, so I let it languish in my backlist.

A few months ago, I pulled it out and dusted it off and realized that while the plot itself was solid, my writing had drastically improved over the years. I began to ponder the idea of a re-release. Three short stories together came in at about 34,000 words, which was novella length. Could I fix it up so that I could bring new readers in?

As I polished the writing and tweaked the pacing so it flowed as a novella, I began to realize there were scenes that I could expand by showing, not telling. (My middle school English teacher would be so proud!)

And as the story came together, I realized it needed a new title. It didn’t take long before Corked popped into my head.  Once I had the title, a cover came together. And as I began the final editing process, I realized an epilogue would really add to the story. There was definitely more of Lucas and Sean’s story to tell. When it was all done, it came together with a grand total of 42,000 words. New readers will get to discover the story for the first time as a long novella and previous readers will enjoy almost 8,000 words of additional content!

Teaser.jpg

 

Title: Corked

Release Date: April 28, 2018

Length: 42,031 words (Novella)

Blurb:

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?


There’s no pre-order for this book, but if you want to get your hands on Corked as soon as it’s available there are two options!

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Flash Fiction Monday – No Rest for a Cowboy

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No Rest for a Cowboy

Danny’s breath steamed in the icy January air as he hefted another bale of hay and tossed it carefully over the edge of the hay loft. Panting, he stopped for a minute. His back ached from the strain and his cold, cramped fingers were sore from the twine digging in.

 Thunder rumbled through the air and Danny froze. Thunder? In January? That seemed unlikely, but if it wasn’t thunder, it was probably  …fuuuuuck

He ran to the window and saw over almost two dozen horses streaming out of the paddock and into the un-fenced portion of the ranch. He nearly shit himself. All that work. All that money. Wild horses attempting to return to the wild.

He thundered down the rickety steps and tore through the barn door, hollering for Abraham to come help. Danny was sure that their plan to buy mustangs to train for barrel racing and pleasure riding was about to go up in a cloud of dust. They’d spent every last penny to buy the ranch and the horses. If they lost the mustangs they were fucked.

Abraham caught up to him and grabbed his arm. “Hey, calm down, Danny. You’re just spooking them more.”

Danny froze and nodded tightly. “How are we going to get them back though, Abe?”

“Let’s grab some grain and a couple of lead ropes. We’ll have to try to lure them back with it, but I have a plan.”

An hour and a half later, wrung out from fear and adrenaline, Danny collapsed against his boyfriend’s chest. “I can’t believe that worked.”

“I told you.”

Danny gripped his boyfriend’s face and brought their foreheads together. Relief made him weak-kneed. “We could have lost all of the mustangs. But we didn’t.” Danny drew back to look Abraham in the eye. “Thank you. Without your cool head  …”

Abraham smiled and kissed him. “Now we know not to leave the gate unlatched.”

Danny groaned. “That was all me.”

“Hey, we’re a team, right?” A nose nudged Danny’s arm and he glanced over to see Lady, the chestnut mare who had established herself as leader of the herd.

Danny let go of Abe to rub behind her ears. “And it’s a good thing you’re in charge of these yahoos.” He gestured toward the rest of the horses who were crowding closer, searching for more grain. For a while, it had looked like utter chaos as the horses galloped, tails and manes streaming in the wind. They were gorgeous, no question about it, but terrifying as well and Danny had felt like he couldn’t breathe as he prayed none of the horses or him and Abe would be injured.

Abe’s plan to round them up had involved bribing Lady with grain to get close enough to throw a lead rope around her neck and walk her back into the paddock. The rest of the herd had reluctantly followed, the few stragglers coaxed in with a little grain.

They spent a little while checking the horses over, making sure none of them had injured their hooves or legs, but everyone appeared sound. Abe gave Marigold a pat on the rump. “Back to work, I guess.”

Danny groaned. “I just want to go take a long hot soak in the tub.”

“You have to finish getting some hay down and I have to check the fences.” Abe grinned and draped an arm over his shoulders. “No rest for a cowboy, I’m afraid.


Sorry I’ve been so intermittent about writing and posting flash fics. 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!

Flash Fic Monday – Strange Comfort

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Strange Comfort

Alex traced a finger across the cool glass, wanting to feel the raindrops on the other side.  The bus slowed, pausing at a light.  Just a few more stops and it would arrive at the train station where Alex was supposed to get off.  The one half a mile from the hospital where Alex’s father lay dying.

They hadn’t spoken in three years.  The fight had been stupid, the estrangement even more so, but with every day that passed it grew more and more difficult to bridge the gap. Then the call came from Alex’s stepmother.  Congestive heart failure.  He wasn’t going to survive it, not with his other health problems.  So Alex squashed down the fear and hurt, forked over money that should have been spent paying the bills, and traveled through three states to get to him.

Now, turning back sounded like the most sensible thing to do.

A weird, hitching breath caught in Alex’s throat and it was a struggle to keep the tears at bay.  A moment later, a cool, slender hand wrapped around Alex’s. Strong, steady, it didn’t matter that Alex had no idea who the hand belonged to.  At the last stop, Alex had been too busy looking out the window to see if the person in the adjacent seat was male or female, young or old.  Wasn’t important though; the firm grip was all that mattered.

Fear quaked through Alex’s body as the bus hissed to a stop and passengers struggled out of the seats. With one last reassuring squeeze, Alex’s seatmate let go.  In a daze, Alex stood and wiggled out of the seat, stopping to grab the duffle bag from the overhead storage.

Just before reaching the door, Alex glanced back, hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious stranger, but the side of a face was all that was visible around the seat in front.  Alex could see a shock of dark hair, a single blue eye, and a smile.  It was enough.

Reassured, Alex stepped into the rainstorm, ready to brave the past and find the peace both father and child needed, before it was too late.


Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other author’s flash fics for this week! There are some really incredible ones.

In particular, be sure to read Helena’s flash fic today.  Ireland’s Marriage Referendum will take place this coming Friday and her story is a beautiful reminder of why it’s so important to vote yes.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!